Star Trek: Picard
"The Last Generation"
Air date: 4/20/2023
Written and directed by Terry Matalas
Review by Jamahl Epsicokhan
By golly, they stuck the landing. It wasn't flawless or groundbreaking or deep or anything crazy like that, but they saw this final adventure through to a satisfactory and satisfying conclusion. The result is certainly the best season of Star Trek in the Alex Kurtzman era, and one that honors the legacy of these characters and sends them off right.
This season of Star Trek: Picard might best be thought of as the final TNG movie that never happened after Nemesis tanked at the box office. It's structured like a movie and has the sensibilities and technical qualities of a movie (visual effects, production design, music, sound design) — and, yes, the mainstream dramatic concessions of a movie. It also has the length of several movies, which was perhaps the biggest problem with how the season was structured.
Yes, in retrospect, we spent far more time than we needed being stalked by Vadic, given the amount of information that was contained in those episodes (which is why I think a jaunt to the Founders, to get another perspective on Vadic's faction of shapeshifters, might've been a better way to fill some of this out with a little more current-day-Trek world-building that tied into the plot). And the nonsense around the portal weapon, M'Talas Prime, and Picard's corpse (and the attack used to "cover up" the theft in a way that did exactly the opposite) were meaningless time-fillers. But overall, even with the protracted conspiracy plot that was merely the front for the familiar Big Bad in the Borg Queen, these episodes were mostly individually well-paced and entertaining, aside from "Dominion" and the first 20 minutes of "Surrender." That's not a bad batting average at all.
Now we close everything out with "The Last Generation," which is a conventional popcorn sci-fi action extravaganza that wraps up the plot (effectively, more or less), and provides us with an extended, nearly 20-minute-long coda that allows us to decompress and say goodbye. It's the best of both worlds, if you'll forgive the expression. This is chock-full of Trek-movie-oriented action sequences and a Countdown to Disaster™, in which the Borg try to assimilate and/or destroy humanity yet again, as well as wonderful character moments that give everyone their moment in the sun. Is it everything it could've been? No, but it is enough.
Plot-wise, what's maybe most interesting here is that the Borg threat arises from a weakened collective that's on its last legs, taking an improvised tack of evolution over assimilation, in part because they were so thoroughly devastated in Voyager's "Endgame." The collective is a shell of itself (and feeding on itself; the bodies of drones are being consumed to provide fuel), and the Queen speaks of a desperate loneliness. This, she believes, she has in common with Jack. For the moment, Jack agrees with her; he's decked out in the full Locutus outfit and is masterminding the hijacked fleet's attack on Earth's defenses. The fact the Queen specifically needed Jack to send the signal to activate the Borg DNA within the members of the fleet is a purely arbitrary contrivance, but that's Trek for you. It does, on the other hand, allow the Borg Queen and Jack to be thematically linked through the issue of missing connections and isolation, leading to their desire for control and domination.
So an away team must get aboard the Borg cube (which, in a nice VFX touch, has been hidden in the gasses of Jupiter's Great Red Spot) to retrieve Jack and figure out how to stop the transmission controlling the infected crew members in the fleet. This is some pretty standard action plotting, but it's entertaining and with top-notch production values, and the characters bring it to life. Picard has to find out how to connect with Jack in the lion's den. Riker and Worf must locate the beacon on the Borg cube. And Geordi, Data, Crusher, and Troi must destroy the beacon from the Enterprise.
Patrick Stewart gets the dramatic heavy lifting as Picard must face the Queen again (who provides the necessary exposition dump, while playing the part of the goading, laughing villain, which, yes, is a bit of a cliché) and make an emotional appeal to his wayward son. Riker and Worf get into a scrape with some Borg drones, resulting in hand-to-hand combat and Worf's next great entry in his series of weekly one-liners: "Swords are fun" (said while he had a phaser hidden in the sword the whole time). And the Enterprise has to do its best Death Star run through the Borg cube to reach the beacon and destroy it. The action and VFX are well-executed — albeit not the least bit original — and are elevated by the familiar gravitas provided by these characters.
And what can I say? The writers play it safe. Safe, but exciting and cinematic. Conventions are followed. Picard's connection and emotional pleas to his son are, of course, the key to everything, but one that has been earned over the previous nine episodes. The Enterprise is cribbing from the Millennium Falcon, but, boy, does it look great. And Seven and Raffi do their part, retaking the Titan bridge and trying to stave off the attack for a few crucial minutes to give our heroes time to save the day.
It's a fairly predictable wind-up action toy, but a fun and entertaining one. The Queen and the cube get Blowed Up Real Good™. The ceased transmission returns everyone to normal. It's all pretty easy, and doesn't work us or anyone too hard, but there are moments of tension and foreboding (as when Picard says goodbye to Riker on the cube and truly means it because he expects to die) and, above all, there's the camaraderie. Having this cast together to do its thing makes a generic action movie into a meaningful one.
And after the crisis is resolved, we get an extended final act, where we get to check in on everyone. Allowing so much time for closing character beats is a huge selling point in this finale, and a crucially correct decision made by Terry Matalas and the writers. The counseling session between Data and Troi is a highlight, as we see that Data learns, "Being human is just as difficult as the desire to be human." (I love the little details, where Data goes an hour over his scheduled time, while Troi is looking up vacation spots on her PADD.)
Meanwhile, Captain Tuvok, rescued from Changeling captivity, delivers some news to Seven, who was prepared to resign, but is shown a recording of Shaw's recommendation to promote her. (Shaw was an inconsistently written character, but Todd Stashwick did a good job playing him, and killing him was an overly tropey mistake.) For Seven, it's a welcome victory after all the nonsense written for the character in the first two seasons.
And Raffi buries the hatchet with her ex (now that she's getting positive news coverage) and gets to talk to her granddaughter. Her last scene with Worf is a nice moment — although it might've been good to catch up with Worf's life outside of his coworkers. (Where's his son? Or Martok? How's the Klingon Empire doing? The blanks in Worf's past 20 years are screaming to be filled in.)
Then we jump ahead one year, where we see the Enterprise back at the museum, where Picard, Riker, and Geordi shut it down. Goodbye, old friend. And we see the Titan, rechristened the Enterprise-G, deployed with Seven as captain, Raffi as first officer, and Jack as an ensign (who, having been fast-tracked through to officer status, is given the role of "counselor to the captain" and for some reason gets a seat next to her, which is pushing it). Terry Matalas has pitched a series called Star Trek: Legacy, in which some of these characters might continue on, and this scene tries mightily to envision it.
But what better way could you end this show than that final scene in the bar, with the toast and the poker game? The amount of joy, conveyed by these actors after all these years, is ultimately why we're all here, right? It's a moment that would damn near cover up 100 plot holes, because it's about the characters, stupid.
And I know it's not just about these sentimental moments (which, yes, take great care to engineer and should be recognized as such). It's also about what this season of Star Trek was able to accomplish. It accomplished an entertaining adventure that managed to be serialized over 10 episodes without tanking. That's new, but it's also not a high bar. This was not, let it be said, brilliant plotting or science fiction. But Star Trek has always been about the balance between the ideas, the process, and the characters, and this season managed to find enough of all of those things to be successful, with the emphasis clearly being on the characters. For that, I'm glad.
Some final thoughts:
- The contributions of Stephen Barton and Frederik Wiedmann, who scored the music of this season, cannot be overstated. They did a wonderful job, and were able to weave in Jerry Goldsmith's and James Horner's themes and sensibilities in a way that really gave this the feel of a Trek movie throughout.
- Walter Koenig's voice-over as UFP President Anton Chekov, issuing an emergency transmission to stay away from an Earth under siege, is three homages for the price of one: (1) He's playing the son of his famous TOS character who is (2) named in honor of the late Anton Yelchin who played the character in the Kelvin movies, and who (3) delivers a message that is a slightly tweaked version of the warning the president delivered in Star Trek IV.
- Terry Matalas said they spent a ton of time building the Enterprise-D bridge and then only had two days to shoot on it. That's just insane. The production schedule for this season must have been incredibly tight. It seems almost tragic to go to that much work and then only get two days of use out of it. And then what? Were the sets struck shortly thereafter?
- Despite the disappointing mediocrity of the first two seasons of Picard, I'm not one that finds them completely without merit and I don't need to see them completely ignored or undone. That said, this season had its own agenda, and I'm glad they didn't further clutter the story trying to address loose ends like the Jurati Borg or the mysterious anomaly from the end of last season.
- I enjoyed the post-credit sequence with Q visiting Jack in its irreverent, mirthy way, even though Q died at the end of last season. (There's no reason this can't work given Q's ability to transcend linear time.)
- Laris, however, is completely forgotten by the story, after having been shipped off in the season premiere. That does feel like an oversight given how much of Picard's character was affected by emotional change last season, culminating in his decision to pursue a romantic relationship with her. Granted, this season probably took about 10 times the emotional toll on Picard, but still, some sort of acknowledgement would've been nice.
- I feel like the "One Year Later" card should've appeared immediately after the scene where they shut down the Enterprise-D, rather than before it. (I know; of all the things to play Monday morning quarterback about.)
- Old Man Worf snoring on the bridge. ‘Nuff said.
- Quick shout-out for Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, who played Sidney La Forge. She was a consistently solid supporting performer, and would be a welcome presence in a spinoff, should one happen.
- It would've been nice if they could've gotten Guinan in that final bar scene, rather than just name-dropping her as if she were just off-camera, but there are limits to what TV producers can pull off, I suppose. The name-drop was better than nothing.
- It seems to me like they would give the Enterprise-G designation to a new ship, rather than the 20-year-old Titan, but hey.
- I wavered back and forth between 3 and 3.5 stars on this review, before finally settling on 3. The sentimental part of me wants to give it 3.5, but the reasonable part of me knows better and doesn't want to hand out stars like candy.
- That about does it. Thanks for joining me for this TNG reunion we never thought we'd get. I plan to be back for Strange New Worlds in June and hope most of you also return for that, although I'm not expecting nearly the level of interest here as what we had for TNG's last hurrah.
Previous episode: Vox
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691 comments on this post
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:05am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Nothing would make me happier.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:13am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:25am (UTC -5)
STILL snickering at Jack's Borg get-up.... who had that idea?
I'm now realizing, too, that Seven being written as a shrill girlboss EVERY SINGLE MOMENT has diminished my enjoyment of some of the decently done nostalgia. Worf's bit about swords was fun.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:25am (UTC -5)
As a Jammer Junior, I'm leaning to a 3 at the moment. Not out of the park, but quite decent.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:27am (UTC -5)
But other than that, I'm a very happy fan.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:29am (UTC -5)
I will say this has been better than the last few episodes, though, but that is a near tautology.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:34am (UTC -5)
• After all the lip service for Admiral Janeway, was surprised she never showed up.
• Was surprised by the name change and choice of first officer. Seems odd to have a XO you're romantically involved with.
• Not sure how I feel about the final, surprise cameo. It was definitely a surprise, but also feels like that character has been resolved and didn't need to come back again.
• The setup for a spin-off couldn't have been more obvious. Felt like the decision had already been made.
• Loved that the impact on the Borg from Voyager's finale was significant and lasting, and not just a story element later forgotten to make the Borg their normal selves again.
• Why the G? Wasn't the F already new and the flagship just a year ago?
• Captain Shaw's final message was powerful. Brought a tear to Seven's eye...as well as my own.
• The Federation President's message was VERY tonally similar to the President's warning in Star Trek IV.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:38am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:41am (UTC -5)
Riker has trouble lifting a bat'leth, when Alexander did it just fine at age three.
Admiral Crusher I guess.
As always, memberberries as far as the eye can see. Dialogue from President Chekov and the Enterprise G scene lifted from Star Trek IV with little changed.
I guess we just assume that the Big Giant Head was the Borg Queen with no follow up at all. The changelings were nothing but a distraction so they could take over 80% of the season to get tho who we were actually dealing with
This finale was pretty much exactly as too cute by half as I expected.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:41am (UTC -5)
Very good with a nice lengthy coda, hilarious at times like with Deanna dealing with Data's new found "issues". Loved it she was looking at vacations.
Great "cameo" by "Anton Chekov", sounded like Koenig in a great nod to Voyage Home and a dedication to Anton Yelchin.
I would be down for a Seven/Jack/Raffi spin-off. Raffi never bothered me that much, but mainly because I could barely care about S1 and 2.
I did have a brief hope the D would be king (or queen) of the fleet for a while as Shelby's disastrous ship networking was undone. And that year we skipped was kind of ripe for stories.
My main displeasure was the D acting like the Millennium Falcon in the cube, and I didn't even like the ME doing that back in Jedi. VERY large conduits, but at least this cube looked big enough to have them.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:44am (UTC -5)
Writing my review before the very end.
Wow, Q. I despised him "dying" so, I like it.
I wished Jack didn't know who he was, but whatever.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Using his moment of death to service Seven's silly naming drama was bad enough. But doing it AGAIN??!! You literally drag this man out of the grave and have him praise her again?
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:46am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:57am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:02am (UTC -5)
Absolutely dreadful writing that defaces the very name of Star Trek. This isn't good Star Trek, because this isn't even good televised sci fi.
That one star is a golden one, though, for two moments: Stewart's speech in the bar, and Riker, Picard, and Geordi on the bridge of the D. Reminders that the best moments are often quieter ones. These were like water in a desert after nearly an hour of non-stop noise.
And so the NCC Girlboss warps into the sunset, no doubt off to new adventures of fetishized female violence while the men overshare their feelings. I'm here for it. Are you?
And hey, for haters and lovers alike, it has been a fun ride here in the forum. Props to Jammer for running the best Trek forum around, where you can spew facts, opinions, and bile in equal proportions, and we are all adult enough to deal with it.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:06am (UTC -5)
I'll notarize that.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:09am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Worse than that really.
Worse than Ill Lad from the Greasy times.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:12am (UTC -5)
With a suitable ending to the TNG movie series (which this should be considered), it allows us as fans to finally feel more content watching them as part of the overall canon, which, let's be honest, never could reach the heights of the show. But with a solid ending, it somehow improves the rest of the movies' overall quality. If we think of Seasons 1 & 3 of Picard as 2 long movies, we basically got 6 pretty decent films (some better than others), matching the TOS run. (Weird they never made a season 2.)
As to the initial cameo for the finale, I'd be willing to bet absolutely no one had Walter Koenig as their prediction. But sure, why not! I thought it was kind of neat and unexpected, even if a tad silly. I'd been a bit skeptical for a Janeway appearance because I think there's still bad blood between Mulgrew and Jeri Ryan, and Mulgrew has her own thing going on Prodigy. The final cameo was also a great retcon of season 2. Anything that denies its existence, I'm in favor of.
The highlight of the episode for me was the Borg Queen and her new look. Really menacing stuff. I only wish we had more episodes with her. I think in retrospect, it probably would have made a better narrative to have completely dropped the Titan takeover plot of episode 7 & 8 and instead moved up 9 & 10 in their place, which would let that plot breathe a bit more over the course of 4 whole episodes (much like episodes 1-4 was done).
There's certainly much more that can be said, but at the end of the stardate, I think this season more than justified the previously lackluster Picard series, which by that measure makes it a success.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:17am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:20am (UTC -5)
Oh, it wasn't *that* bad, dear sir. Even my cold little black heart managed to spit out a star.
But after watching various Picard scenes on Youtube, I reach an unexpected conclusion: S1 > S3, by a tiny bit. There, I said it.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:21am (UTC -5)
Some of the writing, tho, was surprisingly—I wanna say “weak” or “simplistic”? It was weird. And altho I didn’t watch all the eps of season 2, I did see the one where Q died, and I thought that part was wonderfully played out. And hey, I’m happy when actors I enjoy are booking another gig & getting a paycheck, but damn, why keep killing characters off in emotionally poignant scenes, when you’re gonna turn right around and resurrect them? Not fair to the audience.
BTW: The way the set up that scene in the shuttle, I seriously thought they were going to name the starship USS Picard. :)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:22am (UTC -5)
- The Enterprise F was due to be decomissioned due to damage sustained on some mission. This was flashed on screen when Raffi was going through the intel trying to find out what the Red Woman was all about.
- IMHO, I have no qualms with nimble maneuverability of the Enterprise D, or the original 1701 as depicted in SNW. What we saw in those series was quite simply a function of the severe limitations from filming with scale models. In production, the Enterprise D, as well as any other ship models had to be held stationary while a massive computer controlled camera did the maneuvers four identical times to capture detail and lighting. In reality, RCS thrusters combined with impulse engines (with inertial dampening) would make even the D nimbly maneuverable. Battles would at least look like what they did in the final season of DS9 with the Dominion War.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:24am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:28am (UTC -5)
Yeah it was ridiculous...strange that the Borg would target Earth cities for destruction...I guess the Borg have dropped assimilation in favor of extermination. I guess they are the Gou'ald or the ID4 aliens now.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:35am (UTC -5)
Who'd have thought a season of mostly darkness would end with an extended light-hearted, nostalgic romp?
Jack's motivation to join the Borg still doesn't make much sense -- was he that damaged by not having a dad that he was seeking connection anywhere? (he seemed fine just with his mom before the Changelings showed up).
When did Marina Sirtis just stop playing Troi and start playing herself? Also, how are Troi's abilities still so useless on the bridge most of the time?
Why didn't they show the F blowing up or something?
What tired Worf out, exactly? There were like two drones.
Once the transmitter was destroyed and Jack was disconnected, why didn't the Starfleet Borg de-assimilate then?
I like the idea of the Borg barely hanging on - but the Jurati shenanigans last season kind of undermine that.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:35am (UTC -5)
Agreed. I'm guessing they'd have used Shaw differently if they thought he'd go over with fans as quickly as he did.
As time went on, it was clear that he was just written as a secondary for Picard and Seven's primary storylines. It just so happened that his intro into Picard's story was so bold and unexpected, that he won people over right out of the gate. Take away that dinner scene, and Shaw is diminished quite a bit.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:39am (UTC -5)
Q's death scene played out well as a scene, but personally I've gotten to where I don't want to see ANY death scene of a legacy character.
It's just become a horribly overused cliche, and while I can't blame Mystery Box for that one, he sure took it to 11.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:51am (UTC -5)
"Yeah, it was ridiculous."
Oh, I heartily agree. I was just being cheeky to Silly's assertion about "worst thing ever".
So many episodes this season seem like simple attention capture in hindsight. The writing isn't trying to make sense, be canon, or send a message. It simply exists to keep you watching. The result is a tacked-together amalgam of nostalgic bits and baubles. Vadic's entire arc now looks like it was just a roundabout way to chew up half the total view time.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:51am (UTC -5)
- Old people are still valid!
- Old things are more useful than new things!
- The young are infected by crazy!
- sons need a mom AND a dad or they will turn evil!
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:51am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:58am (UTC -5)
I don't care about nitpicks or plot holes, this was sentimental.
I was really surprised no Janeway; they name dropped her so much.
It was cool to get a Walter Koenig voice cameo
I was not expecting a spin off so unless this is a dead end I guess they will be announcing a Seven of Nine / Rafi /Jack show with a sprinkling of Q
Anyone who is thinking this is horrible and defacing Trek and so on, why put yourself through this? If it really makes you made that the Ent-D is flying around like the Falcon in the Death Star, you got 600+ hours of past series and movies to curl up with, no need to harm yourself with this.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:27am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:44am (UTC -5)
lol, Shelby either ;)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:08am (UTC -5)
It’s easy to nitpick the new stuff, and that’s fine, because we nitpicked Trek back then too. There were flaws in this episode, but I don’t care. I had tears in my eyes the whole episode. It’s hard to say goodbye to old friends. For me, season 3 of Picard was perfect. I needed this.
And I can’t wait for Star Trek Legacy.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:33am (UTC -5)
They stuck the landing without a wobble.
If Legacy is happening I am onboard for it.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:36am (UTC -5)
I cried a lot, and really enjoyed it. But please let this be the end of TNG., heck, VOY and DS9. We had the show, the films, and then the awkward Frankenstein that was ST:Picard, only justified in it's last season. The name doesn't give me any hope but Terry Matalas' Legacy series hopefully focuses on the new cast setup by this episode. I had a good time, but I'm too full of nostalgia.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:37am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:45am (UTC -5)
Also appreciate the manner in which this season and its final minutes offer a prologue for the continuing adventures of Seven of Nine, and that the post credits scene effectively thumbs a nose at the previous season.
Seasons one and two of Picard are skippable/forgettable, but this one surely was not. Kudos to Terry Matalas and the cast. :)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:50am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:54am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:34am (UTC -5)
I have been pretty critical of nuTrek. Discovery has been fairly unwatchable -- for me at least - since Season 2.
Even SNW, which I generally like, has its issues.
That being said:
Anybody who didn't like that can eff right the eff off.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Overall a decent episode that left much to be desired... a better explanation of the Changling involvement would have been nice, and though Borg work thematically for lots of reasons, I still think the Pah Wraith theory could have been better. Why is Raffi a first officer?
I'll make a comparison with The Flash TV show. I lost interest after the Mirror Mistress for lots of reasons including that I just don't like the "evil doppelganger" plot lines unless they are figured out quickly and not dragged on over a full season. But one other reason is simply that I like good villains.
The Vashti Nerada, the original weeping angels, Thrawn in the novel series, all excellent villains. Daleks and Cybermen all overdone. In the same way, the Borg are overdone.
Basically I want a new threat. Not the Discovery planet killers that make peace because of math, but something actually menacing.
I'll say 2.5.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:46am (UTC -5)
- I think Matalas intended it to close his narrative arc--in that he wasn't supposed to have survived Wolf 359. Some lieutenant who subsequently died, randomly chose him to go into the lifeboat. He was able to provide cover so that the TNG crew could escape into the maintenance shuttle.
That said, Matalas did say they have a pre-engineered solution to bring Shaw back should there be a Legacy show. My guess is that offscreen, Seven used her nanoprobes in a last-ditch effort to save him. Something like that. She did something similar to Neelix in Voyager to bring him back from dead too.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:57am (UTC -5)
- When Picard told the crew "It's been an honor" when he was about to depart for the cube.
- The looks exchanged between Riker and Troi before he left with Picard.
- Picard's emotion-laden farewell to Riker (and Riker's reply) when he said that he can't be their captain anymore, because he had to be Jack's father.
- Beverly knowing the right thing was to acquiesce to sacrificing Picard and his son to save the many.
- Geordi on the edge of tears when he gives the order to fire on the beacon, knowing it will kill their comrades.
- Riker's goodbye to Troi, telling her that he and Thad will be waiting for her.
- Picard telling Jack he was the missing part he didn't know about; explaining the loneliness/alienation feeling wasn't a Borg feeling, it was a shared feeling.
- Seven having her resignation denied by Tuvok
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:18am (UTC -5)
The decision to have Q in the post-credit scene was perplexing to me. Yes, I can understand that it doesn't "undo" his death, since Q's personal experience of death may be in the future. But it was a curious coda on a season which seemed determined to erase/deflate essentially everything that Picard Seasons 1 and 2 put in. Ultimately the only coherent thing across the entire show was Raffi's arc towards rebuilding her life/reconciling with her son - absolutely everything else was ignored, undermined, or retconned. You could tell this was an idea Terry Matalas had on his shelf for years that he just awkwardly ported into an already existing show.
Regardless, it is decent closure for the TNG cast as a whole, and I do think it helps to undo the sour finish that Nemesis provided. I just wish that there was something more interesting than the tired, half-decayed, madly cackling Borg Queen behind it all. It was...fine...I was just hoping for a deeper story, and deeper themes than what we got, which was ultimately an above-average action-adventure with some nostalgic feels.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:33am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:37am (UTC -5)
Just thought I'd put that out there. You don't "win" with those sorts of tactics here, kids.
This was ... almost hurtful to watch. This will likely be a bit emotionally change and doubt I'll think of all sorts of edits after I submit...
Why was it hurtful? Because there are scenes in isolation; some of the quieter moments- one or two scenes where some TNG cast were separated from the orbit of Stewart - that made me realize how INCREDIBLE a TNG reunion could have been in the right hands.
There was SO much potential here. There was so much potential bringing Trek back to the small screen, period.
The writers and creatives at the top of the Trek food chain, I'm gonna say it plain and simple: none of you get Star Trek. Even you, Terry. JJ did a superior job on both Trek and Wars - even TROS, FFS.
I would sooner watch The Rise of Skywalker again than this. That's how I'm at the moment, lol ...
If you can see past or forgive the simplistic, cliched and shoddy writing - wow. I don't know how to do it.
What this could have been. What an absolutely phenomenal waste of potential.
I got a kick out the ship porn this episode, sure. I enjoyed seeing the D thrashing the exterior of the Death St, er, cube in that sequence. Less thrilled about descending into the cube X-Wing style. Did it look cool? Yeah. Was it patently ridiculous given the proportions of the vessel? Hell yes. Also, The Borg were thoroughly wasted alongside their Changeling associates.
And Trek Karaoke at it's finest - finishing on a card game, just like in the finale these characters got 30 damn years ago that WAS a good send-off.
As I said, there were some moments that hit as intended - mainly in the coda. Seven's promotion, Data's counselling session. But again, here we have a show so invested in it's convoluted mystery box that the writers can only navigate to these rare moments when they take a breath from propelling the story from one maddeningly stupid plot point / tease to the next point of obfuscation.
BTW - Laris? Helllloo? LOL, yeah - you remember her, right?
@Narissa's Bath Water "Final rating: 1/4.
Absolutely dreadful writing that defaces the very name of Star Trek. This isn't good Star Trek, because this isn't even good televised sci fi."
I agree. Nothing that was held fondly in my memory got through this unscathed - Even Q. I despised them killing off his character so I'm ... glad (?) he's still around. I am not thrilled he would take any interest in Picard's kid. Ohhhh ... his trial is just beginning. Oh gawd, go away please.
What a waste.
Take Matalas Trek and throw it out the nearest airlock. Don't insult my intelligence with this pandering, sloppy memberberry assault. It did work, to a degree. But Jesus man, was cobbling together a decent story with non-cringeworthy dialogue really too much trouble to ask? This will age like a corked bottle of Chateau Picard. I hope everyone enjoyed the moment, because I assure you it'll be diminishing returns if you bother to hop on the ride again in the future.
I am starting to wonder if I was too hard on SNW. Perhaps I'll give that another shot before the new season. I know Picard S2 left a ghastly taste in my mouth that might have carried over. If I do watch S2 it'll be on a binge, methinks - so I doubt I'll contribute here much going forward. But everyone who contributes here: as someone who has skulked around online Trek fandom since last century - this is the most genuine and balanced spot you'll find for Trek fandom online. Back in the day, people would have damn good arguments; it was interacting with Trek fans so many years ago that really pushed me to go deeper. Nowadays, fandom has devolved into extremes and groupthinks - much as any fandom has, unfortunately. So, never change.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:13am (UTC -5)
Apart from this though I'm disappointed with the premise that's apparently being set up here for Star Trek: Legacy (if this is what they'll be going with). I mean, how about doing something totally new? Do we really need 3 characters tied to the older series? Do we really need it to be set on the Enterprise? Do we really need this series framed with a Q/Picard's son story? Ughhhhh... GROAN. It feels like franchises these days can't help but tie everything back into the past.
Not every Trek series needs to have Spock in it, or Spock's adoptive sister, or Picard's son. DS9 and VOY both had unique and strong premises filled with potential and I still hope any future series in the main timeline will have some kind of premise beyond "it's a new Trek and it has seven of nine in it!".
Picard S3 made me feel very excited about spending more time in the 25th century but now I'm apprehensive.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:19am (UTC -5)
As far as the negative reaction goes I'm beginning to notice a pattern here, I think lot of negative viewers here are looking for reasons to disqualify it from receiving any credit.
Basically for them, every negative scores -10 points and any positives are only worth 1 point and thus should be spat upon for not being higher and is effectively worth 0. It's kind of like the trial of To Kill a Mockingbird except it's Star Trek that's on trial. It's ugly, patronizing and makes a mockery of the analytical process. They're entitled to their opinions but this is the age of internet troll where everyone's a critic. Everyone demands to be heard while being stingy about actually listening.
I'll have more later.
As far as Seven goes and any nonsense about feminism, agenda, blah, blah blah.
She's earned that chair.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:28am (UTC -5)
That said, I find some of the hyperbole in here funny. Worse than TROS? Defaces the name of Star Trek? Were you guys saying this about Discovery? About the eyeball scene in Picard S1? Like to choose *this* of all episodes, a very lighthearted feelgood ball of fluff of an episode, to direct your nuTrek grievances at feels a bit misplaced - but what do I know? This certainly was fun, but weirdly enough at this point I'm more interested in seeing what SNW has to offer.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Overall, this was pretty bad. Sure, all the wrap-up moments are fine, but the conclusion of the plot is even dumber than I expected, and I expected A LOT of dumb. Essentially, the Borg Queen creates this incredibly elaborate plot involving changelings, transporters and Fun With DNA, but then forgets to defend her base of operations from a single, obsolete, undercrewed starship (she even invites it in by lowering the shields for reasons!). Ultimately, the clever trekkian solution our heroes come up is... shoot everything. We'll use our plot armor to navigate to the center of the cube and then Escape the Mega-Explosion at The Last Possible Moment™. So satisfying.
Count me in as part of the minuscule minority who wants to keep Terry Matalas' hands very far away from Star Trek.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Modern Trek: It's great - if you turn half of your brain off.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:15am (UTC -5)
The need for connection to others and what the lack of it can do to you.
It affects Picard, Riker, Jack, Seven, the Borg Queen, Ro, Raffi, Shaw and is manifested even in the fleet coordination plot line. They're all in need of it and/or suffering from the lack of it.
The series revolves it's people and it's plot around this idea.
Now that I think about it, rarely have I seen a series or film that calls back so often to it's central idea. And the nice thing about it is that it did it so subtly and in a way is only largely visible when you look back on the season as a whole and put the incidents side-by-side.
If Trek going forward uses this framework as a launching point to grow from then maybe I won't retire from Trek after all (as I was planning to do after this). Trek is at it's best when it speaks to the human condition and now that I review it, I'm actually extremely impressed.
The finale gets a round of applause from me. It was smarter than I was. They had a point to make and they made it with aplomb.
That's what the best of storytelling is supposed to do.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:18am (UTC -5)
The 1/4 star reviews will be promptly amended, and will now be negative-star reviews.
This episode was way worse than you described it-to call it beyond the worst piece of television since the invention of television, or indeed since the coining of the phrase persistence of vision, is far too kind.
But wait, even though it offends my very essence and defaces all I hold dear and it makes me sick to even think about, I have so much more to say, and will, every time someone comments about it-especially when they have something to say.
Or just when my spleen itches. It itches a lot.
To paraphrase Data, I hope people who like this show “die quickly.”
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:33am (UTC -5)
Worf seemed very alone. He's kind of adopted Raffi, which is nice, but what about Alexander? He could have been in the "One Year Later" section.
Why were the Borg dying off? And why didn't Agnes Borg show up? (Or would that have implied that the Borg did survive into the future, which we know they didn't?)
Now for the good stuff. I thought the acting was superb, especially when Beverly commits to destroying the cube, Data realizes that he HATES the Borg, and Troi and Riker say goodbye through just looking. Patrick Stewart was fantastic as usual. Sure, there was a heavy dose of sentimentality, but I thought it was mostly handled well (I've never been one for admiring ships). I didn't mind the silly things like Data flying the ship into the cube, or pausing the crisis so Jack and Jean-Luc could have a nice talk, or all the assimilees immediately returning to normal. And the switch from the Julius Caesar "toast" to the poker game was perfect, as was spending the last few minutes on One Year Later.
I'm always curious about people who find plot holes, inconsistencies/errors, and unrealistic TV conventions so distracting that they can't enjoy the show. For me, if the story is well written, well directed, and well acted, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief. And I don't mind having my emotions intentionally tugged as long as those other elements are good. I guess other people don't enjoy just going along for the ride?
This whole season has been FAR better than the other two. No giant octopus arms from space, no incest, no confusing and pointless time travel, no wasted characters except . . . . whimper . . . . Shaw. Captain Shaw, come back!
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:35am (UTC -5)
NCC Girlboss, S1 E2 - "Third Time's the Harm". Captain Seven navigates a difficult conversation with Ira and Beatrice Shaw, as she faces her own need to have their son's corpse praise her one more time.
NCC Girlboss, S1 E3 - "Boys Will Be Boys". Having served on the Titan for six months without being given anything to do, Jack Crusher begins to doubt his own purpose. A new friend shows him how to be a man of no purpose in Starfleet. (Special Guest Star: Anson Mount)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:59am (UTC -5)
2.0 out of 4 stars - (adjusted for nostalgia)
THINGS I LOVED:
[A] The one-off comedy bits from Worf, Data, and even Troi!
[B] Seven's inspirational speeches and talks as commander and Captain. It's not so much what she said, but that she's making the effort to step into the role. ("Ma'am, I'm just a cook! My mom got sick, and I had to run the deli back home, and my brother had a hernia...!")
[C] Picard's way of reaching Jack Crusher was nice. The speech was a strong wrap-up to earlier conversations in Season 3 and the sacrifice was reminiscent of Robin Williams in "What Dreams May Come".
[D] Troi successfully driving the Enterprise to rescue the crew was awesome!
[E] Getting Picard to give one of his regal speeches but following it up with the card game was a great way to give this finale a majestic send-off while ending on a light, airy, high-note. Even Picard's delivery of his Shakespeare was done in a less-practiced, more impromptu- and casual-like manner was lovely to see. It made Picard feel like 'one of us'.
[F] I loved seeing Beverly Crusher doing her scans and kicking ass at tactical. I really feel for the actress and her character not getting her due, and I think the "death star" scene helps that a bit.
[G] All the farewells were great. My favorite was with Crusher being unable to look at Picard just before he steps into the turbolift.
[H] Nostalgia continues to be the forte! Not just with the Enterprise-D, but with little sound effects and music that harken back to past movies and series...
[I] Q's back! I love it! I watched that scene with my jaw hanging.
[J] Seeing the crew on the bridge of the Enterprise-D makes me feel so good... ... to be able to see a well-lit set where I can easily watch everything that's happening without worrying about my television settings. 😆
NITPICS THAT BOTHERED ME:
 The solution is a little too basic and the circumstances too convenient for both the Enterprise-D and the Titan-A. I would love to see more work done on the solution front rather than some of the filler episodes we saw earlier in the season. And the Borg just decide to leave the Titan neutralized instead of obliterating them?
 Seeing Shaw's recommendation to promote Seven immediately casts his entire story arc in a completely different light and no longer feels like some good character development (which, even while I loved the character, I thought was a bit weak). To me, his recommending the promotion means he just doesn't know how or refuses to not be a dick.
 The Enterprise-D is so much more agile and maneuverable as it has historically been shown. It definitely ramps up viewer excitement, but I would have preferred to see it be more faithful to the large battleship that takes time to turn.
 Maybe I'm not fully understanding Seven's career timeline, but isn't it a bit soon to be promoted to Captain even if she has done a great job? And I'm not sure she's done that great a job. A good job, maybe, but great?
 Renaming the Titan-A to the Enterprise-G is a lovely sentiment, but shouldn't the name be deserving to a vessel that is more regal and advanced? Is this petite ship now the flagship of the Federation?
 I know Raffi does things in this episode and in past episodes, but somehow I always tend to feel like the show could go on without her. And now we might see more of her in a potential spin-off?
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Where is Jurati Borg if the OG Borg are complete screwed form future Janeway's virus? Shouldn't they have heard The Queen or sensed her? Someone would have seen the "thats no moon" cuber right? Maybe tie up those loose ends with the original collective before getting too cosy in your hippy Borg commune.
Is Picard with Bev now? Did Picard break up with Laris off screen. It's like ohhh ... Yennifer or Triss. Both are a bit Yennifer, though. But seriously where and what happened to Laris? If they're still together, I say shit move not letting her play cards.
Hey, it sure is a pity Leonard Nimoy didn't go to the King of Paramount back in the mid-2000s and discourage him from ever rebooting this whole Star franchise thing. I'm sure he would've listened to Spock.
I love how Q is back and says "linearly". Cause he knows he's dying or did he circumvent it or what - so many cool mysteries.
I cried like a Burnham on onion duty.
And the Enterprise shrinking down to a fighter and going balls to the wall on that cube LOL THAT IS WHAT THE FANS HAVE WANTED.
Everyone loves this and this is quite simply the most amazing thing ever.
Michael Piller - you never knew what Star Trek was.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:18am (UTC -5)
With all the comic book absurdity and Marvel-movie action/logic involved, I just couldn't get into most of the episode, but I will highlight a few moments that still brought me some joy:
-Worf fighting drones with a sword
-Worf taking a nap after all the action was done
-Riker and Troi's relationship
-Rare positive message about the importance of fathers (although it was slightly undercut by Picard telling Beverley she did everything right -- uhh, no!)
-This new semi-human hybrid version of Data. I think this is actually one of the season's biggest triumphs
-Few moments we got to have the crew working together on the bridge of the D
I might rewatch the beginning of this season if I can find some time this week before my already-cancelled P+ subscription runs out. I will be curious if my opinion on the beginning of the season changes in any way. That being said, I otherwise have no reason to ever rewatch this season/series. I'm plenty content leaving the TNG crew with "All Good Things" and "Nemesis".
For me, what made TNG so great were:
-Mature & responsible yet still very interesting characters
-World-building (the 24th Century felt very 'lived in' and believable)
-Serious problem solving
P-S3, at its best, hit on some of the character beats, but spectacularly failed with world-building, problem solving, and sci-fi creativity.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:29am (UTC -5)
1). Plot vs. Theme? Which should be more important?
In a plot movie, the story is the key. Themes and character arcs are bonuses but aren't required. Procedurals are all about this. Episodes like Conundrum and Remember Me are about this. Things have to be carefully layed out and the rules have to be specifically established as you go along because running into the limitations those rules set defines the "thinkspace" our characters have to work within which creates tension and legitimate jeopardy situations.
In a theme movie, the purpose is what are we saying about certain ideas? The plot primarily exists to setup and have those discussions. Episodes like Tapestry and Parallels are like this. You find god-like things like Q, the Guardian of Forever and various spatial anomalies here because they are essentially plot shortcutting devices that can be written however you want to setup the themes you want to explore with a minimum of fuss. They're flexible framing devices which are not the main point of the story.
The best and most memorable episodes are a terrific fusion of the two working in harmony to reinforce each other. Wrath of Khan remains the high watermark for me because the plot and the themes (aging, the effect you have on the younger generation, etc.) work well together.
But I acknowledge that the last one is a rarity. It's VERY difficult to pull off and the longer something runs, the easier it is to trip over something (usually in the plot department).
I want both good theme and good plot but if we have to cut corner somewhere, I would rather they cut corners on plot and frankly its the smarter call. Why?
2). Once the technology level and scope gets high enough, plotting starts to become increasingly rickety.
Future-set sci-fi suffers from AND WILL INCREASINGLY CONTINUE TO SUFFER FROM rickety plotting.
Predictive society sci-fi, despite the myriad possibilities it offers, also suffers from a one severe complexity, it always has to look and operate in a more advanced world than today's and the further out you go the more this principle applies. Unfortunately, this means plots will increasingly make less and less sense the further out you go.
Let's face it, creative use of the transporter alone could solve probably 95% of all problems that occur in Trek. We've just come to accept that they won't be employed that way.
The exponential gains in technology over the last few decades make predicting just how society will look at some fixed point in the future all but impossible. Frankly, given the state of genetics, robotics and reality simulation today I find the idea of fighting with rifles in corridors 300 years from now highly suspect.
Trek also comes with DECADES of continuity to look over written by hundreds of writers with different priorities and editorial hands directing the process. I don't think it's humanly possible to retain 100% continuity over time and it only gets harder as time passes. At some point, the continuity becomes overly limiting.
Basically, plotting in a futuristic society is hard. It's going to get harder because of the fact it has to reference the real world which in some ways moves at a faster pace and the decades of continuity doesn't help.
I want fantastic plots, but I acknowledge the fact that this is an increasingly tougher ask year after year particularly when it comes to Trek. I won't excuse truly lazy plotting but I cut some slack here. We're a long, LONG way from the 1980's when the only references to observe were TOS, TNG and a few movies.
As a writer and if you're really stuck or pressed for time and you have any theme ambitions, I would rather you cut corners on plot because cutting from theme empties your message.
For those who demand that trek adhere to continuity and it's own verisimilitude to the nth degree and then some, I get it. You want this world in your mind's eye to always look legitimate and internally consistent when referring to itself so your immersion isn't broken, but take this as a sign of things to come. You're asking a lot and what you're asking for costs more year after year (and i'm not talking just dollars). Beyond a certain point, that simply may not be sustainable so consider yourself warned.
3) Star Trek's reputation was made on theme, not plot. The world it created was incidental and it should respect but not become a slave to it.
Picard (the series) is admirable for having high thematic ambition and forethought. If you want examples I'll give them to you piecemeal on request time-permitting but to take three quick examples
1) Picard was living out his days on his chateau unfulfilled but has re-found connection with beverley and established connection with a son and so doing has discovered a part of himself he never knew he needed
2) Shaw had his connections forcibly severed at wolf 359 and is still suffering from the trauma
3) The borg queen and lair represent a kind of death state sought by those who want or experience connection in and of itself but without any purpose or real relationship behind it other than to multiply that connection. The emphasis is brought home by the dead and decaying state of those there feels very representative of this idea. Thematically powerful stuff.
The plot and pacing stumbled a bit to bring these moments forward but I favour theme over plot. I love the world of Star Trek but I remember that at it's soul it was not meant to be a world, it was meant to be a lens.
Those who say this isn't good sci-fi, sorry I can't agree. This is great sci-fi. It may not be as internally consistent anymore and that's too bad but for those who spit on this series and are determined to smash it into the dirt....
...you missed something.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:29am (UTC -5)
But I'm not one of them.
I've been disappointed in the Star Trek franchise since Nemesis, and only recently through Lower Decks, Strange New Worlds, and Discovery Season 4 have my opinions changed. The Orville was actually my favorite modern Trek, until this season.
This season was for us - the ones who grew up watching The Next Generation every week, the ones who knew the characters like family members, and the ones who read every page in the TNG Tech Manual wondering why the ship never used her full capabilities in battle.
Sure, there are inconsistencies, they spent too much hide playing hide and seek with Vadic, and a hundred other things that could be said.
But at the end of the day, I enjoyed my time watching this season, and I know from many reviews that a whole lot of other people did as well.
And isn't that the whole point of Star Trek? To bring different people together when we realize that we are more alike than we are different? To believe that we can create a better world through our actions? To succeed despite our individual weaknesses when we can work as a team where everyone has an important part to play?
This season may not have done everything right, but it had the heart of old trek, and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:30am (UTC -5)
This is the kind of injury we've seen healed within seconds just by waving a beam over it.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Yes, there is nostalgia and memory-berries
Rushed conclusion. Poor solution.
So Picard managed to mind solve their way with love and family. No solving. Just DATA flying into that cube. Now, granted Data can do that. No issues.
But I liked the cliffhanger
As for Q, I liked that he has come back
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:52am (UTC -5)
Even a cameo would have been good. Nice to see Tuvok
I do not hate it. I did not like it. It was ok.
If this was season 1, then it would have been better.
If this was season 2, then it would have been better
The previous seasons sadly flavored this episode
Obviously it is not the same as the original TNG, but where is the puzzle? Where is the solving? Where is the
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:57am (UTC -5)
Some of it was exceedingly stupid. (Borg cubes now come with freeways, turnpikes, roundabouts, and parking structures to drive your spaceship through. Take a left at the distribution node and head in straight towards the transwarp coil, Jean-Luc, you can't miss it.)
But I was mostly just bored. Ironically I've watched 3 finales in 2 days and this was the one I was least interested in. And that's saying something. The Ark blew up a planet with a methane ocean that magically spectral analysis couldn't identify beforehand. More like nobody even thought to do a spectral analysis. I'm literally sitting there saying to myself, "Wait... what if that's not water? What happens when..." BOOM! When the fun of cinema sinning the scientific inaccuracies in a bootleg, backyard SyFy production manages to hold my attention better than a flagship franchise's ultimate episode something's wrong.
They did inadvertently explain why Jurati never hooked up with these Borg. She didn't want to catch whatever STD Janeway gave to the original Queen. Jurati practices safe assimilation. She keeps her nano USB jack capped, shrink wrapped, and laminated. You ain't giving her your cooties!
How does it make sense to have your former (or current since we don't know their relationship status) girlfriend as your first officer? That's a serious breach of protocol.
No surprise when Q showed up. I figured last season they'd Time Traveler's wife his behind back into the Star Trek Universe at some point.
And last and most certainly least, they named a rinky-dink poorly equipped exploratory vessel The Enterprise? I seriously thought they were going to name her the Jean-Luc. Oh well, a missed opportunity.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:59am (UTC -5)
You make a good point about the hue of a work being ultimately more important than its story.
With that said, though, plot still matters. Maybe it doesn't matter as much as theme, insofar as "no plot and strong themes > no themes but strong plot" in an artistic sense, but the conveyance of theme, and our ability to experience those emotional and philosophical beats as viewers, is dependent on the plot getting us there without knocking our immersion or breaking the treaty of disbelief. The season was enjoyable in parts, for sure, but there's a fine line between having the plot serve the conveyance of theme, and having it convolute the conveyance.
I also don't personally feel the season earned its thematic stripes that it tries to brandish. There was no deep exploration of the idea of connection, or the lack thereof. Picard's wrestling with his legacy, its cracks, and how we can't escape our past was touched on here and there- certainly, his attempted sacrifice in this episode was a great thematic beat, and some of the dressing down of his authority by Shaw and Riker were interesting, as well- was relegated to these scenes alone, and didn't really exist as some continual exploration of an idea. Like they were phoned in just to check a box on a critic's list of demands.
The more important theme, in my opinion- the choice of duty over family and how that may have weighed on Picard, his regrets of not being a father vs. his resentment for not being given the opportunity to be one, a theme which would tie directly into what it means to "belong to a collective"- was barely touched on, save a few scenes in the holodeck which seemed reluctantly expository and like they were doing their cathartic due-dilligence rather than building some exploratory arc. Maybe the point was to say "Picard had a family all along, on the Enterprise, and the bonds we make in adventure last forever" but it felt weirdly muted, and incongruous with the
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
... with the main story points about infiltration, conspiracy, overcoming animosity, abandonment, mistrust, old scars, and being on the lam.
If that comes off as critical as hell, it's only because I expect so much from our beloved franchise- maybe too much, sometimes. They say you can only be disappointed by the things you respect.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
For me the best Star Trek Season of the new Trek era.
I love Lower Decks, but I can't compare the two.
Yes, this 3rd season had it issues, but overall it was like a warm blanket in a very cold night.
The TNG crew has one of the best chemistry TV has ever seen.
It is almost unreal how good this ensemble is. One could say it is unfair for the crews of the other new series, I found no chemistry at all in Disco and a quite forced one in SNW...
MVP of the season was Worf. His quotes were hilarious.
And I quite liked the new Data.
You can see that the shadow of Disco/NuTrek is hanging over Picard and the possible spin off.
For example, the "reason" Seven was promoted (she does not follow orders but she has heart and guts) would make Burnham having multiple orgasmes.
Not to mention the darn lights. Who from TBTB keeps thinking that a dark spaceship is better for the audience? IT IS NOT!
WORST of all though, is Jack Crusher, a character coming directly from the Disco universe. He is annoying, stubborn, egocentric, he does not follow orders, he is a male Burnham (minus the whispering - crying) and of course he is invited to sit next to the captain. WHY exactly? I saw an ensign posing on the bridge and talking to a captain like if they are pals and was wondering if the latest Disco season has already started...
I truly hope Jack won't be a part of a spin off, I cannot stand of him as a character and the actor who is old and must behave like a youngster, is just ridiculous.
I will miss this crew...
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Even if that final montage of the camera swinging across the room whille they were playing cards felt like the opening sequence of the old Roseanne sitcom... Right down to Picard laughing his head off as he claimed all the chips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glTxpIfwGZ4&ab_channel=K%27RtoonExpress
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 1:02pm (UTC -5)
Agree on all counts re: the TNG crew.
I thought Jack being Seven's "advisor" was just an exclamation point on the feminist trope, i.e., a complete inversion of the male/female roles on TNG, where Troi was the traditional feminine role among the bridge crew.
Taken from a plot basis alone, though, it is quite an odd and unlikely outcome.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
It didn't carry the poignancy as AGT or TUC or WYLB when it comes to farewells.
I still don't care for Jack and the way he is characterized as some high strung teenager. So any emotional resonance about his ordeal didn't impact me. He seems the type of character to expect on an Academy series.
It was nice seeing actual drones for a change on the cube. After the first two seasons of seeing just xBs or humans with rifles, I thought the writers forgot what a Borg really looked like.
Expected Janeway to show up given she is responsible for the pitiful state the Queen was in.
I didn't buy Shaw's crew evaluation for Seven.
It was kind of anti-climatic when the dust settles for this season. I actually thought 'Vox" was a stronger episode than this.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Starfleet CLEARLY has an established record of not holding the actions of people against them in the case where they have been assimilated or manipulated by the BORG. Or else, Seven, Picard, Hugh, all the young Starfleet officers under 25, and all the liberated Borg Drones from the captured cube in S1, would be in New Zealand, gardening. The Federation has a more enlightened legal system. Good for them. We could use one.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
It just underscores Changelings didn't belong on this series.
And why did Vadic cut of her hand to communicate with the Queen?
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
"WORST of all though, is Jack Crusher, a character coming directly from the Disco universe. He is annoying, stubborn, egocentric, he does not follow orders, he is a male Burnham (minus the whispering - crying) and of course he is invited to sit next to the captain."
That is an almost perfect description of James T. Kirk. Except they invited him to BE the captain.
Seriously, what show have you been watching. Starfleet Captains are not really well-known for their rule following and selflessness. Really, only Saru, has exhibited that kind of gentle soul. They are mostly brash, egoistical, stubborn, and clever people. It's befitting an organization devoted to exploration, and discovery. They need to be willing to push it, and wise enough to know when.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:04pm (UTC -5)
- I wanted more on the backstory of the Borg, there was some interesting stuff there about them evolving, but it was half baked. I don’t understand their motivations based on what we were given.
- It seems like an odd coincidence that every ship in the fleet was taken over by crew 25 and under, except for spacedock which was fine?
- Seven just charged up to the bridge and beamed the 25 and under bridge crew to the transporter room, then left them completely unsupervised so they could escape, destroy the cloaking device, and charge back to the bridge again? Made no sense, they should have just incapacitated them and left it at that.
- The Titan could somehow engage the ENTIRE FLEET and survive more than a few seconds? How is this possible?
- How did the Borg cube get to Jupiter without being detected?
- Special effects are once again top notch. I didn’t have a problem with the Enterprise flying around in the cube.
- Worf had some great lines
- Deanna “why am I sensing enjoyment” and Data has a maniacal grin
- Picard’s pleads to Jack were well acted and touching
- The poker scene at the end was great! That's the only way to end it :)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
"If they are doing a new series, they need to improve on the lighting. TNG and carpet lighting is recommended."
Boo...Hiss...sounds of general disapproval!!!
The reasons for the over blown lighting, carpets, and overall Loveboat-ish decor in TNG, were basically twofold: budget, and shitty televisions. By the time DS9 came out, CRT TVs were on the way out and lighting got DARKER and MUCH BETTER. Now we have shows with Cinematic quality effects/sets/and cinematography, and TVs that can handle the high def work load. We don't need the ship to look like a DAYS INN lobby circa 1987.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:27pm (UTC -5)
I'm going to preface this with a statement that I want you to read very carefully and keep in mind as you read my points.
***Don't double down based on emotional momentum.***
Now to your response..
"Connection" is a theme that has featured prominently in every season of modern trek. It was in Season 2 of Picard. It was in seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Discovery. It's the safest, most generic, marketing approved message you could put in a season of Trek. It's utterly meaningless."
I didn't realize there was rule that said common themes are by definition of meaningless. Is that what you're saying? Heroism, love, sacrifice, fear, death. These are all old themes. All are meaningless because they are generic?
I'm offering you the chance to amend or clarify your statement.
Remember, don't double down. I'm giving you an opportunity and a dignified out here.
"Of course we all want to connect with others. You might as well make your theme about how we all need air to breath and water to drink. "
As Roger Ebert once said, 'It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.' The theme about the need for connection was demonstrated by:
1) Many of the character's starting states such as Shaw, Riker and Seven who are all being blocked from a meaningful connection for a variety of reasons and who all manage to reconnect by series end. There's a self healing element here that was handled across multiple characters while all respecting the theme.
2) Meaningful and well-acted conversations between veteran actors with respect to the histories of their characters. Ro's conversation's with Picard, Jack testing Picard about family while incognito at the restaurant are two examples. Notice how these connections in many ways are driving the character's actions. That's good writing.
3) Actual environmental manifestation during the story which could be taken as metaphor as with the dilapidated borg cube being the obvious example.
The theme permeates the series. The presence of a theme, common or otherwise, is meaningless unless you do something with it. The series set it up, demonstrated it's effects across multiple storylines and wove it into the plot and for my part I think they did a pretty good job of it and probably a remarkable one given the production complexities involved.
From a theme standpoint, what else could you want exactly? Sure you could argue that this and that could've been more effective but I would argue that a sincere and substantial effort was present and that counts for a lot.
My standard for quality isn't perfection, it's sincere and thoughtful effort which is generally trying to say something of substance, respects the audience and is putting that on a screen with style and a certain degree of professional presentation (which is why I have a measure of respect for the star wars prequels and nothing but utter HATRED for the sequel trilogy). If I get anything beyond that I consider it a bonus. If there's a reason why even great filmmakers find it difficult to keep topping themselves, it's likely because even they are not completely aware of what caused their work to be so successful. A certain degree of serendipity is often involved.
Picard is a sincere and thoughtful effort for me, presented with style and respect for its characters and for the audience at large whose plot withstands enough casual observation to be serviceable and whose moments make it more than the sum of it's parts.
Now before you respond, understand that you are NOT going to convince me otherwise and this is not an argument. If you have different standards by which you enjoy your Star Trek, then you have different standards. I'm only responding to your points about common themes being meaningless and that their presence is of no value. They may be of no value to YOU but I suspect they are valued by many, and your implying that they should not be edges towards the line between opinion and condescending insult.
Now you can refuse all responsibility for how you are being interpreted but those who reserve the right to speak while simultaneously refusing all responsibility for how they are interpreted are of a certain character which I'm giving you the chance not to be.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:29pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
I actually liked this better than All Good Things. That one has at least one severe plot hole-- that the Enterprise crew of Tasha's time would obey newly assigned Picard in a flat out suicide mission, DESPITE him exhibiting clear signs of psychosis. That motivational speech is positively surreal. "I've only known you for ten minutes, but I know you're the bestest crew, take a *leap of faith with me*".
Have Seven's nano probes appeared at all in Picard. Certainly not this season.
Probably for the best. Hilariously overused in VOY.
Poster is right above-- a Janeway appearance was never likely because of the bad blood between the two actors. Mulgrew greatly resented Ryan being added to VOY.
Seems like Mulgrew has generally gotten over it, but asking her to do a cameo on Ryan's show would be asking a lot.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
The problem with them was how large they could be practically made.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
"The Titan could somehow engage the ENTIRE FLEET and survive more than a few seconds? How is this possible?"
The Kor Maneuver? Cloaked ships are a pain in the ass. Also, the entire fleet was firing on Earth. Also, the BORG are well-known for IGNORING pesky, but minor, threats to their overall objectives. This was the TNG crew beaming into an occupied Cube, causing havok, on a much grander scale.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
Plot twist: Shaw just wanted Seven off his damned ship. And he realized a glowing service evaluation would do the trick.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
4.0 out of 4 stars - (unadjusted)
3.0 out of 4 stars - (adjusted for nostalgia)
Original post: https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-picard/s3/last-generation.php#comment-105861
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Can someone clarify if they thing this is true. The queen is dead and did the whole collective get the Janeway virus meaning she was all that’s left?
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
A raging misogynist? I beg to differ, good sir. I poke fun with the "NCC Girlboss" nonsense because, let's be honest, everything in Picard S3 was just a little too on the nose and simplistic. But gendered violence, as well as motivations for it and judgement of it, have been central themes of the show from the beginning, in some cases fetishized. Just S1, and just off the top of my head:
- the Seven / Icheb / Bjayzl triangle, including one of the most discussed scenes from the season
- the Soji / Narek/ Narissa triangle
- the Jurati / Maddox killing and judgment rendered of it
- made more complex by Maddox's creator role re: Soji and Dahj
- commentary on changes in moral judgment through the Picard character's reactions
- sexuality in a violent context, e.g. the Narissa/Seven fight
It isn't hard. And it was done FAR BETTER in S1, despite the poor writing, because the characters were dynamic. The men that were injured or killed varied in their moral purity, and the women equally in their justification for the act, and that doesn't even touch the treatments of woman/woman violence. Bad writing or not, someone put some thought into this stuff, and it showed.
Contrast this with S3, where Raffi and Seven are cardboard cutouts who enact scenes taken directly from other sci fi action franchises. Do we pause long enough to wonder why things happen? Nope. Does another character behave in an evaluative manner toward the violence? Nope. They are Tough Women (TM) and that's all we need to know. The audience is assumed to have the attention span of a sea snail. Raffi overall was fine by contrast, but I was exhausted with Seven's hectoring, angry tone by mid-season. Jeri Ryan isn't a terrible actress and could have been given much better.
I can't be sure because I'm not an expert in the field, but it seems reasonable that some feminist analyses would say the elevation of the female action hero and female violence actually isn't feminist at all, but is simply reinforcing that "violence is cool", and women are only cool to the extent they endorse it like men. Lots of good stuff in there to talk about. I'm sure a smart grad student in Sociology or Gender Studies could score an interview with the S1 writers and get a Master's thesis out of the deal.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:08pm (UTC -5)
"I can't be sure because I'm not an expert in the field, but it seems reasonable that some feminist analyses would say the elevation of the female action hero and female violence actually isn't feminist at all, but is simply reinforcing that "violence is cool", and women are only cool to the extent they endorse it like men."
I think some people tend to overcomplicate definitions of feminism. Simply, it's the advocacy that all rights, opportunities, endeavors, personalities, interests, etc. shall be equal and open across all gender lines. So while having a James Cameron-esque female action hero may seem "unfeminist" because it ascribes to classic male physically violent archetypes, it would argue it is feminist because it allows a woman to be whomever she wants to be. If she wants to lock and load, then sure, go for it. Freedom to subvert archetypes and culturally dogmatic expectations is necessary to feminism.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
Here we get the obligatory season-ending CGI world ending threat - with no sense of what is happening onany other ship than the Titan. And tgere’s no real sense of danger. We know the crew will save the day, Jack will snap out of murdering thousands/billions and everything will be fine.
And how they do it — the ships are all betworked to each other yet fleet formation/control only works if the other shipcan see you?- — and why — because: “family” — is sort of silly.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
We know that the Federation survives this because DSC is now galavanting about in the future where the Federation is three times as old as it is here.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
"We know that the Federation survives this because DSC is now galavanting about in the future where the Federation is three times as old as it is here."
This is probably not canonically correct according to whoever decides these things, but I'm of the opinion that we should view Enterprise, Discovery and Strange New Worlds as part of their own rebooted timeline that doesn't need to align with the TOS-VOY events, much how the JJ movies existed in their own timeline.
I especially think there's so much more they could do with SNW if they didn't feel hampered by future known events, which I think will be a burden in seasons going forward.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Imagine if they had spent Season 1 telling a thoughtful and sincere story, with each episode centered on one of our heroes (Ep 1 about Picard, Ep 2 about Riker, etc) where we caught up to where they were in life - this season wouldn't have been about them on a ship, but what their life was like in the current moment, with the central mystery of the season being how they all eventually come together for a singular purpose. Season 2 would have focused on how they embarked on that mission - perhaps on a ship - but with the story treating the material patiently, full of quiet but no less dramatic moments - and the natural tensions that are bound to occur between such long lost friends. The last season would have culminated in the climax of this mission - maybe it would be something about the fallout of the Dominion War, or a negotiation with a new, compelling enemy. This cast could have handled it; the audience would have eaten it up; the audience of Star Trek demands smarter storytelling - not this absolute drivel that we got.
One and a half stars.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 4:44pm (UTC -5)
But overcomplicating definitions is the job of academia! How else are we supposed to publish six papers that say exactly nothing? :)
And of course, I agree with your post entirely. I would only add that subverting an archetype too often in a fictional world destroys it and creates an opposite one. I think S3 fell into this trap, whereas S1 did not.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
Back to voyager.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
@Bucktown I believe you are mistaken..Jeri and Kate repaired things years ago..you can see them being friendly at conventions since then and Mulgrew said she WANTS TO COME BACK AS LOVE ACTION JANEWAY so there is NO REASON she shouldn't have been in this...WHY!! This finale was so disappointing in almost every way..the first 8 episodes were good but these last 2..they should've nixed the Borg or at least added another new alien like Iconians plus Borg or Caeliar plus Borg to make it memorable...and the Enteroise D is supposed to survive INSIDE AN EXPLODING CUBE..isn't it the hypocritical for ppl to ask how Voyager survived an exploding sphere in Endgame?...that is the least complaint in any case but still valid..and WHY NO DS9 CHARACTERS..KIRA AND BAJORANS should've come to help Seven on Titan and Janeway cojldve come with Chakotay on the old Maquis ship or on VOYAGER FROM THE FLEET MUSEUM!! How did the writers not do this??
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:25pm (UTC -5)
Was that even Alice Krige in the makeup? Wouldn't surprise me if it was her voice but a double in the makeup.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
"I believe you are mistaken..Jeri and Kate repaired things years ago..you can see them being friendly at conventions since then and Mulgrew said she WANTS TO COME BACK AS LOVE ACTION JANEWAY"
They're both professionals. Of course they're going to act friendly in front of a paying audience, but that doesn't mean they are friends. Jeri Ryan does seem to have some lingering resentments, which I don't blame her for. This is a quote from an interview with her published last week:
"I didn't have a great experience on Voyager. The working experience was not super pleasant for me. So that kind of colored my perception in a lot of ways. Because that was a tough four years, but I was always acutely aware of how good a character Seven was from an acting perspective and how rich she was."
She's not calling out Mulgrew by name, which is professional of her, but she's also not shy about being honest about her negative experience caused largely by Mulgrew.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
I read some Terry M interviews and he said they wanted to film Chekhov but couldn’t because of time constraints. But they felt so strongly about it they did the audio and added it in post. He also said they really wanted Janeway to give Seven her promotion but didn’t say why it didn’t happen.
I feel bad for Terry, he had serious constraints and he wanted to do a lot more than they could. He only had 2 days to film all those scenes on the Enterprise D bridge set. Some scenes they could only do 2 takes.
A lot of people give him crap for all the fan service but he said that part of the show was really important to him. For example he said he was really stressed out about the scene where they all walk onto the bridge for the first time because he didn’t think the fans would forgive him if he screwed it up.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
* Shaw was the best new character since Deep Space Nine.
* This is the best Riker has ever been.
* This is the best the Riker-Picard dynamic has ever been.
* This is the best Crusher has ever been.
* This is arguably the best Worf has ever been.
* The music is the best of any Star Trek TV show (even if it leaned on old cues a lot). The Titan theme is great.
* I kind of wish they had renamed Data, but this version of him is interesting. I was all Data'd out, but I'd watch an episode or two about this one.
* Season 3 has some of the best lines (Worf's intro to Raffi), action beats (Titan breaking the tractor beam) and dialogue scenes (Ro-Picard) in all of Star Trek. There are a few whiffs in there, sure, but also some home runs.
It wasn't perfect. To me, 3-4-5 was the best part of the season, which isn't ideal, but I'd give every episode a thumbs up except for Episode 7, which was middling, but not terrible.
I really, really don't understand those of you who keep watching when you hate it. But please do keep watching. The view-counters don't know you hate it. :)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, everyone! LLAP
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
I'd give this 3.5 stars. They stuck the landing. Thank god! Way better than Nemesis (not a high bar to clear), almost as good as "All Good Things" (4.0 stars, IMHO) and if the build up and pacing had been better it would be on par with or perhaps even better than Undiscovered Country.
For a hot second we were was afraid they were setting up Picard (and then Riker/Worf) for a cheap death scene and much to my surprise they proved us wrong!
Most of what I can nitpick in this particular episode would be very "Trek-like" nitpicks (at the end, lol) and not story nitpicks.
I'm assuming the reunion of our seven heroes was limited by real world scheduling factors, Marina Sirtis lives abroad, the others probably have their own commitments, etc. So it seems probable the airtime we got with them was the best the studio could do.
With that assumption, it occurs to me if they had just made this into a three hour movie, instead of a ten hour, focusing exclusively on the Jack Crusher and Borg parts of the story, they probably would have knocked it out of the park.
What did the the Changeling stuff add except to fill airtime and set the audience up for the big "twist" at the end? It feels like a colossal waste of an absolutely phenomenal actress who did the best she could with the material (anyone else getting a Alan Rickman/Prince of Thieves vibe from her performance?). I'll undoubtedly have more thoughts on this in a few months when I sit down to rewatch the whole season in one sitting. Perhaps the pacing won't feel so off without a week wait between viewings.
Raffi has grown on me. Her scenes with Worf are amazing, a credit to both characters and actors. If this is indeed set up for a spin-off I would watch it. My partner can't stand Ed Speleers, so this will probably divide our household, lol, but I suspect she'll find things to like if they don't make Jack the centerpiece of the show as with Michael in Discovery. (Does anyone else miss Star Trek as ensemble casting?)
Also, for everyone unhappy that Janeway and others were not here, you do realize this is the TNG sendoff, right? I am admittedly biased, I don't like Janeway's character, but I'd feel the same way if they had awkwardly shoehorned Kira, Garek, or any of the other non-TNG characters whom I love into the final episode. Tuvok didn't feel out of place, with the way they used him, for what it's worth, but a lot of the "Where was Janeway???" commentary feels like you wanted her to ride in and save the day. That would have tanked this episode, IMHO, ditto if they had used someone whose character I like for the same end.
Trek nitpicks that do not factor into my 3.5 star rating:
- I too disliked seeing the Enterprise-D move like the Falcon in Return of the Jedi. She's a battleship, not an F-16. :)
- Copying the President's speech from Voyage Home was too cute by half, though I appreciated the President being Chekov's descendant. There's fan service and then there's a circle jerk. This one crossed the line into the latter, IMHO.
- Did Seven and Raffi forget that transporters can remove weapons? :D
- The writers continue their proclivity for forgetting about the rest of Planet Earth. I called it out in Discovery and will repeat it here, how can a writing team that throws so many bones at DEI remain so Euro/American-centric? Every city named in the Borg target list except Cario was a European or American one. I feel like Cario only snuck onto the list because one of the writers went to see the Pyramids once. This ain't hard, Mexico City, Tokyo, Mumbai, Jakarta, Shanghai, Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow..... it's a Google search away for heaven's sake!
- Nothing for Denise Crosby or Colm Meaney, which is a huge bummer. I'm not sure how Denise would have worked in this season (see my previous comments about S1 missing a lot of chances) but Chief (now Professor) O'Brien could have had a cameo as the person who figures out how to undo the transporter sabotage and revert the Borg DNA magic. Would have loved see him in a scene with the lead cast.
- How do the Borg hide a cube in Jupiter without being spotted? Is Starfleet that terrible at protecting Earth's backyard?
- The Borg Queen continues to be a Scooby Doo villain. "It's an invitation." Seriously? You've won idiot! Bringing Picard and Co. abroad the cube is only going to end badly..... and you're dead! Hope the gloating was worth it, lol
Will monitor this comment stream for a few days at least. I am a bit sad, when I look at the engagement on Mando episodes (a lot less than Picard!) to realize that this will soon be the end of our lively discussion, at least for the time being.
A million thanks to Jammer for sticking with this site after all these years. You are one of my Top 3 Internet destinations and it has been an absolute honor to be a part of this community.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:46pm (UTC -5)
"WHY WAS CHEKOV NOT ON SCREEN"? -- Remember that it is Anton Chekov, Pavel's son. If they showed Walter Koenig, they would have had to CGI him. BTW - they used the name Anton as a tribute late Anton Yelchin, who played Chekov in the three J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies (mentioned in trekmovie.com review of this episode).
@sj82 "This was such a wasted opportunity. What trash." -- I think your comment was referencing years 1 & 2 of TNG, and yet I assume you stuck around for the next 5 seasons plus the movies?
It's amazing how many negative reviews are on Jammer's site. If you look at trekmovie.com, it's almost a 180 in terms of positive reviews.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:48pm (UTC -5)
In many words: this finale` was the kind of triumphant, bombastic action movie the TNG movies always aspired to be but only managed once. The key difference, I think, was that we had this entire season of TV to give every character their own meaningful story, rather than just focussing on Picard and Data again. So when it all comes to this rip-roaring conclusion, nothing felt incomplete or half-assed.
There were a lot of beautiful emotional moments for everyone, but Picard's scene with Jack on the cube was absolutely lovely. It really felt like it put a pin in Picard's entire character arc throughout the franchise, which is perfectly fitting for a show that was originally envisioned as a character study of him.
Were there things I didn't like? Sure. Shaw's death felt cheap. I don't think Michelle Hurd has given a good performance since season 1. And despite being present throughout, Seven of Nine's story felt very undercooked. But these are hardly dealbreakers.
This is the first serialised season of new Star Trek to tell a purposeful, engaging story that held my interest all the way through and paid off everything it set up. There was that minor sag in episode 8, and I still think you could have revealed the answer to the Jack Crusher mystery earlier on, but taken as a whole? This was a bravura performance from Matalas and the writers. I doff my cap to the production team. They finally did it.
I'm not sure I want the Legacy show everyone is clamouring for. I *would* like to see Terry Matalas given the opportunity to create his own new Star Trek show from whole cloth, but I don't need any of the nostalgic material or old characters after this. I feel like I just capped off an amazing ten-course meal with an incredible dessert.
What a dramatic turnaround from the absolute shitshow that was Season 2. This has left me absolutely pumped for the new season of SNW. Fortunately, only a couple of months to wait.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Sure. But even without the Discovery-future angle, it mostly just felt like a video game.
I guess it ties into a bigger problem is that I'm not really buying most of the character moments/performances -- except for (surprisingly to me based on what they did in TNG) Frakes and Burton.
Dorn is reliable, even though he had a few wonky lines. Spiner had me for a couple of scenes, but he mostly overdid it.
McFadden still wasn't given enough to say or do, considering how important she was to the plot.
Sirtis was mostly just doing a convention appearance as herself (I like her, but the character of Troi seems to be gone).
But except for Rider and Geordi, these mostly didn't really feel like the same characters. And the situation didn't really feel real. It felt like actors reading a script.
Seven, an interesting character on Voyager, has been pretty much wasted.
Shaw, and even Vadic for a while, were more interesting than any of our mains.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:07pm (UTC -5)
"If they are doing a new series, they need to improve on the lighting. TNG and carpet lighting is recommended."
Boo...Hiss...sounds of general disapproval!!!
"The reasons for the over blown lighting, carpets, and overall Loveboat-ish decor in TNG, were basically twofold: budget, and shitty televisions. By the time DS9 came out, CRT TVs were on the way out and lighting got DARKER and MUCH BETTER. Now we have shows with Cinematic quality effects/sets/and cinematography, and TVs that can handle the high def work load. We don't need the ship to look like a DAYS INN lobby circa 1987. "
There's a lot of truth to this, but a variety of factors come into play with lighting, including Film vs. Digital and the tone or "look" they wanted to establish. And the more evenly/brightly lit your set is, the less time you have to spend on lighting set-ups and the more time you can spend filming, thus saving you money.
However, go back and look at the TOS Bridge. It isn't really a bright set color-wise (dark walls & floor) and lighting-wise, Jerry Finnerman's cinematography ran the gamut from using brightly colored lights, to the use of small eye lights & a lot of "cookies" that create shadow patterns. Essentially they were lighting for two versions of the show as it had to read on both color and black & white TV sets. When you're lighting for black & white, contrast takes precedence over color in that light & dark is how you distinguish objects from one another and create depth (this is oversimplified, but gives you the general idea). Go look at the black & white episodes of The Outer Limits or even the 1st season of Lost In Space from 1965 and you'll see some gorgeous cinematography--much of it taking place in very dark settings.
TOS fiilmed on Arriflex and older Mitchell cameras on 35mm Eastman 50T 5291 and 100T 5254 film stocks, and TNG used newer Panavision cameras & lenses and filmed on 35mm Eastman 400T 5294, 5295, and EXR 500T 5296. They continued to use film through the begininning of Enterprise until they switched to Sony Digital cameras--which have their own advantages/disadvantages to using film.
A friend of mine was using Sony's system to shoot a direct-to-video film back in 2004 and they were constantly struggling to get any detail in the blacks--it just looked like mud (especially on a smoky dark set). Fast forward to today's digital camera systems and now you CAN shoot in low light, but you still have to keep in mind that without contrast, you are going to get these super dark scenes that everyone complains about in Game of Thrones, House of Dragons, the list goes on & on.
Add on top of that that when you're sitting in a post-production color grading suite with pristine dark lighting and state-of-the-art monitors that do not mimic the gazillion TV's out there with a myriad of auto settings receiving a streaming signal (most likely compressed on some level) in any number of room lighting situations AND an industry trend for shows to look more "cinematic" (aka dark/moody) and yeah, the audience is NOT going to be seeing what you saw in the screening room.
Motion pictures & television are visual mediums, and I'm not sure what it's going to take for producers to realize that if the audience can't SEE the visuals, they probably won' watch them. Go online and you can see lots of threads in discussion rooms asking "why do shows on my TV look so dark"? A question rarely asked in the days of film cinematography.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
According to Matalas during the IMAX Q&A, Chekov wasn't on screen because they ran out of money. Could also be due to time constraints as some others mentioned.
You can see the full Q&A here: https://youtu.be/ATkNGefjU10
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
It was a good sendoff to the TNG crew and a proper finale fo the series in general. You can see how far all these characters have come, including 7 of 9, from their first appearances.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
"IMHO, I have no qualms with nimble maneuverability of the Enterprise D, or the original 1701 as depicted in SNW. What we saw in those series was quite simply a function of the severe limitations from filming with scale models. In production, the Enterprise D, as well as any other ship models had to be held stationary while a massive computer controlled camera did the maneuvers four identical times to capture detail and lighting. In reality, RCS thrusters combined with impulse engines (with inertial dampening) would make even the D nimbly maneuverable. Battles would at least look like what they did in the final season of DS9 with the Dominion War."
I disagree. Won't argue the Star Trek physics of it, because you can make those do whatever you want, I'll just argue it on an emotional basis. IMHO the scale model movements felt more organic and natural. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The movements of 'D' here didn't feel terrible, like in the previous episode, but it still felt off based on seven years of seeing the show.
I never really cared for DS9's CGI, for reasons I've discussed ad nauseam in other threads here, but FWIW, the only ships we saw in DS9 that moved like this were the Defiant, Birds-of-Pray, and Jem'Hadar fighters. The big ships still moved like, well, big ships, not F-16s. :)
The nitpicker in me was happy to see they got the shuttle bays right on the Enterprise-D. The Galaxy Class hologram we saw in S1 messed that up and had them both the same size. I guess someone on the production crew reads the various Internet forums, lol
The nitpicker in me was unhappy they didn't do the 'phaser strip' effect for the pew pew scenes. Not for Enterprise or Titan. Missed chance here guys!
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:00pm (UTC -5)
"The amount of people ready to unleash their seething hatred for this episode and all modern Trek almost borderlines on parody at this point."
The amount of people ready to equate constructive criticism and/or disappointment to seething hatred almost borders on parody at this point. :)
There's some 'seething hatred' on the Interwebs for NuTrek but I don't see much of that in the comments here, which is why this is the location where I choose to gather and discuss it!
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Appreciate the deep dive into film and lighting. I can't contribute any expertise to that, what I will say, is I miss the TNG lighting scheme because I feel like it contributed to the general 'vibe' of the show.
For lack of a better way to put it, the 'D' was a happy place to work. You can argue that perhaps they should have dimmed the lights for combat situations, like they did in Voyager, but for the day to day who wants to work and live in a dark cave?
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:08pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:11pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:24pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
100% Agree. If you're trying to recapture the look & feel of the original, you have to light it the same way. It was the same issue they ran into with "Rogue One" trying to recreate settings on the Death Star, etc. that were lit & filmed very differently in 1976/77.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
Don't feel the need to engage in a conversation about whose opinions are valid (all of them), but I am a little sad that a lot of folks did not find enough to enjoy here. I thought it was thrilling and lovely and fun, and *most* disappointments about this season, save one poorly written/directed episode (7) and some pacing stuff, were inherited or problems of practical circumstance.
I want my episodic Trek to be more idea-driven, but to me in tone and substance this was like the OG crew movies for Next Gen. I thought the adventure was good, and every character was served very well. I even thought the Borg plot had some very interesting stuff going on conceptually, and I was satisfied by the story in these last 2 installments, as well as the space action excitement. It just isn't quite intellectually meaningful like the best TNG.
I had misgivings about the Data shenanigans (I liked his farewell and would have let him be) but I do love where he ends up. He is far far more human and yet he is only more confused by this condition, though receiving the experience with curiosity and joy. Come on, that's exactly right. The therapy scene with Troi was great.
I thought the Jack/Picard Borg cube stuff, while a little broadly written, was powerful and emotional and did a pretty incredible job of retroactively turning Picard's three-season roller coaster into a cohesive journey for the character. Stewart has been far better in these last two episodes than he has been in the whole Picard series.
At this point, as a salvaging of both Picard and streaming Trek in general, I am blown away by what they managed to accomplish under the circumstances and am grateful for the new memories of waiting with great anticipation every week with other fans.
Perhaps I was a little tinted by the experience of getting to see this at one of the IMAX screenings, where the response was raucous and joyful. I don't go to cons and just waiting in line with all the strangers and cosplayers was a great experience. It's really wonderful that Trek can still bring all kinds of people together like this. I hope they give us the Enterprise G series.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
On the Jammer Scale I'd put this episode at 3 stars, as a whole I'd rate Picard Season 3 as probably the most enjoyable Season of Trek since Enterprise. It may have leaned a little hard into nostalgia, but damn if it doesn't feel refreshing after everything else.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
* The TNG crew felt like themselves, with some plausible character development.
* The season felt like the ensemble TNG always was, not the Picard*Data*Worf power trio the movies devolved to.
* Beverly especially got great material.
* Not strictly TNG related, but it is nice to see Janeway's apparently devastating attack on the Borg had consequences.
* It's a bit nuts how much this undoes various unfortunate post TNG events. I mean, wow, if Matalas asked me personally what to undo, I would be stunned this many made it to screen.
** The awful E vanishing without a trace.
** Undoing (in effect) the death of Q.
** Worf no longer being the dour sourpuss of DS9.
** Janeway's apparently devastating attack on the Borg having lasting consequences.
** etc, so many more
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:36pm (UTC -5)
Apparently its his son Anton, but even he'd have to be at least Picard's age.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
I learned back in my rental days to get references from the potential tenant’s PREVIOUS landlord, not the current one, lol.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:44pm (UTC -5)
Yeah the RLM re:views have been more entertaining that actual subject matter.
At least S1 and especially S2 of PIC were so bad they almost ciricled back to good again.
S3 was just blech bad.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
Season 3 with the exception of 2 episodes was what the series should have been from the beginning.
Perhaps there is also some nostalgia here from a 59 years old trekker. It was like returning 30 years back to my 29 when i saw all good things. But even so it was worth it.
Obviously a new series is coming with seven of nine as captain of the new enterprise and i can't wait!
Together with new worlds my star trek is here again in my life! ( i prefer to forget the existence of Discovery)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:51pm (UTC -5)
Now that's funny. I'm going to have to remember that one.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Jack is an ensign after a year, Raffi is First Officer for Seven as Captain despite them being lovers. That all starts to reek of JJ nonsense.
After all, it's certainly possible to put those three on the ship without being that ridiculous.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
- The Borg Queen's hail mary was fairly believable, as was the resolution.
- Data piloting the D falcon-style, Crusher firing the weapons, Deanna using her powers to locate our characters - great TNG-style teamwork in this episode
- The card games/TNG sendoff at the very end
- The strong themes of family and protecting the youth from collectivism
- Everything felt a little rushed. Vox and TLG could've easily been stretched to 3 full installments; 7 and 8 could've easily been combined.
- The timeline of events felt a little janky. I just don't really buy the sequence of events. Spacedock taking a beating makes sense - it's probably shielded by the same robust source as Earth's planetary shielding - but there was far too many convenient pauses and slowdowns for the entire thing to sync up well. I don't see the Borg pausing dramatically before attacking the cities.
- The Borg dialogue was beyond cringe. "Fire fire fire" "target sector 001"...really? Terrible.
- Rechristening the Titan as the Enterprise-G. Wtf?
- NCC Girlboss at the end. It's something that Kathleen Kennedy would decree.
- Q's return at the end is beyond cringe. What a boneheaded decision that undermines the entire arc. The whole idea was that Q was using Picard to test humanity. Humanity passed...that arc is over.
- Everything in the last 20 minutes - besides the card game and final farewells of the TNG crew - felt like bad fanfiction. Jeez.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
Season 3 is the first time I made it to the end of a season of Picard, but I doubt I’ll be watching it again.
I wonder if Star Trek Legacy is real or just Matalas’ jeffery tube dream. I wouldn’t mind terribly if Paramount greenlit it, but I wonder what the hook would be given that SNW is already doing classic trek.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
-Bogus, no Janeway. Big disappointment.
-The Ent-D flying around like a videogame was dumb but cool.
-This would have been way better had the first 2 seasons not already done the Borg to death.
-No real resolution to the Changeling stuff is kinda bogus.
HOWEVER. The bits on the bridge before they split up towards the beginning, and the last twenty minutes, was really all I ever wanted from this stupid show. Just show our old friends being old friends! 3.5 stars for this episode, 3 stars for the season, and 2 maybe 2.5 stars for the show as a whole. Tons of wasted potential finally realized far too late.
To the Me of Yesterday who wondered if Picard S3 would stick the landing vs Mandalorian S3: yeah, they pulled it off. Wild!
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
- "These last two hours were really, really hard to make. You know, it's a giant movie, and it almost killed me,”
- "we wanted to make sure every character had their due. You didn’t want to come away from the finale thinking that one character didn't have a great singular moment or contributed to saving the day."
- The poker scene at the end was entirely improvised, he just let the camera roll for 45 minutes.
- His biggest regret of the season was there wasn't any time for romance (weird)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Especially since Sector 001 is a cube 20 ly on a side, and has a volume of 8000 cubic light years.
With Sol at its center, any star within 10 ly would be inside Sector 001, and if a star were in the cube's corner it could be as far as 17.32 ly away.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
About the word "connection" - You seem to define this word more specifically than Token or I do. IMO Token's objection was to that specific word, implying that it didn't mean anything to them, and I feel that way myself. You gave several specific examples of what you meant by it, all of them scenes that I really liked, but I wouldn't have described them by that term. Maybe it's just a difference in language use (I notice this often as I get older and the language continues to change). I think it's quite possible to read Token's post as just a twitch about word use.
Tim C - Nice summary. I agree with you about 90%. I've never had a problem with Michelle Hurd, and though I hated Shaw's death I wouldn't call it cheap. In reading today on other sites, Matalas specifically leaves the door open for Shaw to live, WHICH WOULD BE AWESOME. Also, I seem to be the only person who's annoyed about Wesley getting ignored. But over all, a satisfying finish to the season and to the series and to TNG.
Matalas says the ending poker game was for real, he just let the actors play and chat, and then recorded a few ad libs over it.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
Patrick Stewart’s performance as he spoke to Jack was nothing short of beautiful. I don’t cry, I may have shed a tear in DS9’s “The Visitor”, but the sequence with Picard talking about being empty and finding what he needed from fatherhood had me crying tears. Manly tears, but tears, nonetheless. Truth in commenting, I’m a father with a disabled child, so it hit me on another level. I know this scene may not resonate as much with others. But Stewart hit it out of the ballpark and deserves praise, especially for a man of his age.
Likewise, we MUST give it up for Ed Speleers who has gone toe-to-toe with Stewart, the TNG cast, the other newbies and consistently delivered good scenes. Maybe there won’t be a fourth season of this show, but there should be a show with Jack Crusher. Somehow. Some way.
Still, even I got bored at points and felt much of this goodbye was gratuitous. But hey, it’s an earned gratuitous epilogue. Why not just leave the camera on ten more minutes and let the cast discuss their favorite away mission or favorite sushi? It would be entertaining, nonetheless.
The elephant in the room and my biggest complaint is that Season 1 and 2 of Picard are practically a wash thanks to this season. And you know what? I LIKED the first two seasons. I didn’t love them, but I tried to find the good in them despite the glaring plot holes and nonsensical detours. So, what happened to Soji? What about Jurati and the Borg portal? Is Elnor dead now? These threads are just left hanging.
Yet, I know people will nitpick this show to death even more than I. Just consider this: here we have a better farewell for TNG than “Nemesis” and a season of material much better than anything Stewart did with X-men, so even the haters can admit this season was worth the effort.
A high 3.25 from me. So much fun, I’d love to give it a 4.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:17pm (UTC -5)
If they bring back Shaw, I am all for it!
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
I don’t think we need Star Trek: Legacy. Give Matalas a different project. He’s amazing. He gave us the exactly what we needed and wanted.
But Legacy would go too far down the cheesy nostalgia route. We need new characters. We need new stories. Maybe with some connection but an entire new series that basically the offspring of the previous gen has a high probability of turn in into a nostalgic circle jerk
Matalas is talented but can we not turn Star Trek into a nepo baby franchise?
There’s gotta be a way.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 9:50pm (UTC -5)
It's interesting that the Changelings and Borg would align after both were left completely weakened by the Federation -- so that as a motivation for this season can work. So the Borg Queen now sees their MO as evolution instead of assimilation. But Crusher quickly figures out a way to undo their transporter assimilation -- yes a lot has happened for her in 20 years. What can't she do now?
I guess I wonder if Trek fans are just supposed to lap this up given all the ridiculous happenings. The biggest one for me was Data flying "Big D" through the Borg cube to find the beacon -- should a Borg cube have so much open space such that a massive starship can zip around within it?? (I guess Big D was fully armed while stored in the museum.)
I think it's fairly typical for these kinds of series/season finales to have human emotion turn the tide -- so Picard gets assimilated so he can reach Jack and voila, Jack gives up the contentment he had found amongst the Borg and just unplugs himself.
PIC should have ended with the poker game as TNG did. Really hope nu-Trek does not pursue Q and Jack. Q has all the answers on humanity he needs so this was totally needless at the end. Would not be interested in a series with 7 and Raffi on the Enterprise G with Jack as special counselor either.
2.5 stars for "Part Ten The Last Generation" -- mostly really appreciated the connection these actors have for each other and that came through throughout the season. Not that important how things got resolved, as we knew they would in the most unbelievable manner imaginable.
Overall I don't think I'll ever rewatch PIC S3 or it might be a very long time before I do -- certainly won't rewatch the 1st 2 PIC seasons. PIC can't have much of a legacy if it serves to be a TNG tribute primarily. But nu-Trek has a number of series so they can try different things -- just YMMV.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:13pm (UTC -5)
I do better with best episodes, rather than seasons. But --
TOS S1, S2
TNG S3, S4, S5, S6
DS9 S3, S4, S5, S6, S7
VOY S4, S5
ENT S3, S4
I don't see how Picard can push past any of the above, let alone the top 4 or 'the best ever'. Good gravy. YMMV and all that, but it seems a little disrespectful to a pool of talent that crafted memorable stories that have stood the test of time. Picard S3 is an ephemeral & cheap high in comparison.
Quality endures. Laughably bad also endures and goes on to cult status. Is Picard S3 in that category? I think more likely not.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
As just a final, one for the road, it really worked.. worked enough for me that, while I could nitpick it all day, it won't really alter my emotional sentiments for it.
I actually had a few drinks while watching it, to give the crew a toast of my own.
That said, I feel the Orville finale captured the spirit and essence of Star Trek, that positive message of the future, even better.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:19pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Should have called this one The Long Goodbye.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
If we do get Star Trek Legacy I suspect Janeway will be a recurring character in that,
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
There's definite ambiguity in his recommendation for Seven. "She's deserving the center seat" or "please get this woman off my ship. She's FABULOUS!"
Bleh, shutting the Big D down again was as gutting as reactivating her was delightful.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:40pm (UTC -5)
GET AWAY FROM THAT LAUNCHER
I don’t really think it’s fair to compare ST: Picard to the older shows. Those were an ongoing weekly TV series that ran for 26 or so episodes per season, with a summer break in between. They had enough special effects budget to make it look convincing, and all the cgi work got better and better over time. (Side Note; even TNG S1 had cgi, didn’t it?)
But it was very much a product of its time; So is Picard. Picard was born into a world of Tweet Engagement, massively powerful cgi workstations, and (pointedly) the huge universe-spanning cross plotting of the MCU.
It fulfills the requirements of a series based tv show, that have now been established, just the way TNG had to try to fulfill the requirements of a TV show at the time it was produced.
It does that well; I just don’t much care for modern TV, myself. The acting and the … ingenuity of the writing, I’ll say, have gone way downhill in favor of mining the fan base for Leo DiCaprio pointing at the screen meme reactions.
Those of us who just watch and talk about the show, are only one part of the target market. The world is very big. Picard got hot dropped into a very unfamiliar (dare I say unfriendly) “TV Ecosystem” to its format, and it managed to take off, eventually, if only for a moment. I think that’s pretty laudable, and there’s enough storytelling meat here for a bit of a meal, if not a whole thanksgiving turkey.
Heck, I could watch S3 again, tbh. Was ok 👍 👋 one and a half thumbs up, I guess?
Overall Season Star rating from me? 3.125 stars. Nooooot bad. Try doing something like that, but even more science fictiony.
We all got personal stuff we need to work on; these are professionals, give them some actual work to do for a change
The universe is not threatened with extinction every year Yknow, and it’s getting a little goofy for them to keep re-threatening the universe. And I don’t need any more moustache twirling villains in Trek.
If you’re gonna write a bad guy for Trek, it’s gotta be a different kind of bad guy from now on. There’s like, more over the top hammy trek villains than Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery at this point.
But S3 was acted well, and the dialogue was often very well done. The plotting could use some work.
Thu, Apr 20, 2023, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:02am (UTC -5)
Anyway -- the reason I'm here (and excuse me please if this is mentioned previously already on this very-long thread) is that I found a fantastic article with Terry Matalas published today from Variety where he talks about a few interesting subjects... two of which especially struck me.
One is the Q tag. Question: "Did you always know you were bringing back Q after he supposedly died in Season 2 of 'Picard'?" Answer: "Yes. All the way from Season 2. John’s a dear friend of mine. On his last day [on Season 2], I said, “Look, I want to bring you back literally in the post-credit sequence for this final season. I will have no time and I will have no money, but I guarantee it will be one of the coolest Q scenes and it will be touching back to ‘Encounter at Farpoint.’” And he was like, “I’m in.” We only had 20 minutes to shoot that scene. Right after we shot the scene in which Picard tells Jack that he’s Borg, we ushered John in in that awesome new costume and we just banged out real quick."
The other is the final poker game. Question: "The final shot of the cast playing poker was such a lovely call back to the final shot of “All Good Things.” Were the actors really playing a full game of poker while the camera hovered over the table?" Answer: "Yes. To make this a little different than “All Good Things,” I wanted the audience to feel like they were really with this cast, to have a little wish fulfillment. So I actually ran the camera for 45 minutes and let them just play. Let them be themselves. I really wanted the audience to be immersed in what it’s like to hang out with Patrick, Jonathan, Marina, Gates, LeVar, Michael, Brent. So all those smiles and all those jokes are real. And so we hang on it much longer than you normally would, so that the smiles and the jokes are genuine. They were all playing a form of poker as best as they could, you know, because they like to monkey around. Maybe when the Blu-ray comes out, we’ll have a longer chunk of it so you could see more."
I love that the poker game was improvised and we were seeing the cast's actual real-life chemistry with each other. I had already suspected this after the second viewing, so it was extremely cool to see it confirmed.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:06am (UTC -5)
ah well, to each his own, so heres my personal thoughts:
i am clearly team matalas here. i hated s1 and s2. i hate DSC. this i didnt hate, and its not only because of the old cast (which is awesome, and yes, that counts as more than nostalgia, because a good cast is a good cast, period)
its about something else, something that is strangely not talked about much here. most complaints are about the story. i would agree with most of these complaints, actually. but to me, those lie in the nutrek one-mystery-box-arc-per-year-in-10-episodes nature, so i wont blame matalas for that. 10 episodes are simply not enough for a TNG level mix of complexity, experimentation, nerdy scifi one offs, changes of pace and all that good stuff. its weird because i have always been a bit critic of the episodic nature of most of trek, i always preferred arc oriented shows like B5 or the BSG remake. so why dont i like it for trek? i liked it in DS9, so whats dfferent? i think its because of the 10 episode limit. i truly think thats what lies at the core of my dislike of nutrek, as far as plots go.
good 10ep seasons certainly can be done. andor worked. earlier seasons of GOT worked. many other shows pulled it off. but theres something about trek that - to me at least - makes it less compatible with this format. its probably that in trek, i was always used to being flooded with so much screen time for every character (like, i got more screentime of the DS9 bartender than i get in this season for frakkin' DATA) that this made the big story points feel even more important - while in direct contrast to that, especially with these beloved characters, you can literally feel how they have to be moved around like chess pieces for the plot to resolve within 10 episodes.
so why am i still team matalas then? because of the many other things he nailed in a context where every.single.trek.show.since.voyager failed.
- this feels like the trek universe. you get a sense of scale. i missed that so much. and how that was pulled off despite the budget constraints and the limitation to remarkably few (and almost exlusively interior) sets, i dont know, but that gets very very loud applause from me, and makes me very optimistic for this legacy-whatever thing thats being talked about
- even within the contraints of these rushed 10 episode arcs, you can tell that the series tried to allow for quieter, humans whereever possible. was it enough to rise to the level of TNG? certainly not. but i see the effort and applaud it
- speaking of effort: you can FEEL that this year, this was done with passion. one of the most annoying things about kurtzman trek was that you always could feel that he really doesnt give a shit about trek in general. there was always a certain "yeah, whatever" vibe that genuinely made me angry at times. like, go and run some show you care about then, please.
that vibe was completely absent this year. turned into the opposite, really. i hear matalas does a straczynski amount of fan interaction, all the way to hot headed debating? telling. i like that attitude. more of that please.
- equally important to me: a sense for the visuals and the music. of course the visuals in modern CGI times are nothing to write home about, but back in the day, of course those majestic space scenes were part of what impressed little me back then. and if you want to see how this stuff is reduced to stupid marvel computer game dreck, just watch any space scene in DSC or picard s1 and s2. not so with this season. even during the modern day action quota fullfilling scenes, there was a trek vibe in all of these shots that i havent seen in a long time. someone knows what hes doing there.
- and boy, the music. so good. good new material, and excellent reorchestrations of old stuff. i do this professionally and i have equal amounts of respect for the new compositions, the competence in the transcriptions and (always respectful!) little changes of the old compositions, and the lack of ego required to admit to oneself, yeah, i wont write anything better for that moment than the original goldsmith theme, so let me just use that. a difficult balance, perfectly executed. nice.
- even the weak points of this production - namely the plot - are not all that bad. this is one for the people who dont like it: can we please try to establish some nuance here? like, is this my favourite trek plot material ever? not by a long shot. but come on, this is nooooowhere near the utterly ridiculous trash we got last season, or any DSC season. its a spaceship plot with different factions (hello trek universe!), with all the usual weaknesses, from plot holes, countles "isnt that convenient" moments, all the way to the setup being more fun than the rushed resolution - sound familiar at all? in that regard, it is indeed very trek, just with the handicap of the modern storytelling format. but "anxious murderer crew member mutates into neo borg queen" material this is not. nowhere near that. dont kid yourselves. S1 and S2 were like the worst of TNG season one, this is like an okay TNG season 2 level. theres a difference.
which brings me to the final point: that difference was big enough that it allowed the awesome cast to sell the plot to me. they made it work. every single one of them was worth every penny they got. and to reduce that to nostalgia and memberberries whatever blah blah is just cheap. give these actors the credit they deserve. personally i had feared the worst before this season. its been what, 20 years? this could have ended up as a shit sandwich of crap acting for an entire season. yet the acting, all around, was clearly a highlight this season. so so so so refreshing after dealing with all the two-facial-expressions-per-character acting of the past years. such a great cast. such a unique, and quite obviously at this point completely natural chemistry.
and yes, they had to sell quite a few headscratcher plot threads and had to endure quite a few way-too-on-the-nose fanservice lines, but walzed through it with surprising ease and their dignitiy fully intact. after the first two seasons, to me, that was the most unlikely outcome of them all. so yeah, hats off to the cast and directing for that.
it is for these reasons that i say, allow this matalas guy to develop his trek space legs further. the more of him and the less of kurtzman, the better.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:42am (UTC -5)
-- oh fuck straight off.
... well said! Jax and his/her/their toxic minions can eff off.
"Anybody who didn't like that can eff right the eff off."
Careful, folks. You might be accused of memberberries and fanboisism....oh, just read a few comments after these. Too late!
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:45am (UTC -5)
You don’t want pandering or anyone to insult your intelligence and then you whip out “memberberry.”
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:49am (UTC -5)
They’re addicted to rage. They enjoy hating content the same way we enjoy drawing joy from it. They may hate it a little, or a lot, and the act of complaining is incredibly cathartic. There’s no formula for actually liking the thing. It’s like an excel formula that errors out.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:06am (UTC -5)
It's not offensively bad, especially with the rapidfire distractions that alternate between flashy CGI and sentimentality to keep us too focused on the superficial action and cloying emotional beats to start asking questions. Unlike lesser Nu-Trek entries, it never really drags at any point which is normally where those sorts of questions and nitpicks would arise and take up a lot of real estate in our heads.
However, much like Jack is plugged into the Borg Collective with his humanity bound and gagged, I too am inexorably plugged into this visual and emotional spectacle while my more logical nerdbrain is kept captive and yearns to cry out, and yet finds that it cannot. Any serious complaints would only sound rather obvious and petty, besieged as I or any critic is by the near-orgiastic praise the show is getting from all corners. You'd think it was Jesus' Second Coming and here I am left with the niggling doubt that, dude, you still got a lot of explaining to do.
So I'll try not to nitpick it too much, but this won't be easy. It almost feels like a charity event where a wealthy benefactor brought everyone together to enact the fan fiction of some hapless 11 year old cancer patient, which would explain why the theme has to do with the continuance of family legacy and keeping them together no matter what in times of great hardship. Maybe with a dash of nepotism thrown in there too.
As expected, the plotting isn't particularly clever or deep.... it's like an unironic Galaxy Quest where the too-dumb-to-be-real contrivances are precisely what is needed to save the day, only without the self-consciously welcome lampshading. And that's all I'll say about that because, as previously stated, a beat by beat tear-down would be too obvious and tiresome.
Among the few things I liked was this is the closest the legacy gang comes to actually doing anything that reminds me a little bit of an old TNG episode, though honestly moreso like what we have seen from the existing TNG movies, particularly when they're investigating the Borg Cube. There are some satisfying moments like the few lines played for laughs that don't make me groan, and some of the emotional payoffs actually feel earned for a change.
Other random thoughts that occurred to me while I was watching:
- So, uh.. their plan was to directly confront a Borg Cube all by themselves with a single outdated ship and no strategy or plan of attack? Okaaay, then I guess it's a good thing that the BQ decided to leave the front door open for them.
- Data naturally wanted to tag along and the response was "Right now we need every advantage we can have and that means having you on this ship." This being Data, who has proven time and again to be pretty formidable against the Borg, not least because he can't be so easily assimilated. I guess they were able to peer into their Crystal Ball and know that Data's skills would be better utilized in attempting a risky Death Star penetration manoeuvre. This IS still Star Trek, right?
- Riker says "I've never been in a too-quiet situation that ended in a pleasant surprise" but I distinctly remember him throwing a few surprise birthday parties in his day.
- Kinda have to groan at how pat it is to see Seven, Raffi and Jack reunited one year later on the "Enterprise-G" (Shaw being the unfortunate sacrificial lamb even though "Sexy Captain Seven" was pretty much a foregone conclusion by Fanboi Fiat) ... and whatever happened to the F??
- Oh please don't let this become a thing, please don't let me be a thi--oh crap Q just showed up and said it was a thing so I guess it's officially a thing now, Executive Gods willing.
- Also, LOL @ how Jack is the new Harry Kim, an overprivileged ensign interminably perched at the captain's side like her favourite cute but dumb cat
- It feels a bit precious to cut out Seven's first command as Captain, as if any words she could have settled upon were too Holy to tarnish with any specificity, and ne're shall they be uttered by mortal breath... though somehow I totally anticipated them doing just that and it makes me laugh that Nu-Trek has become the sort of show where its pitfalls are so well-worn and predictable that they border on Thematic
- The legacy characters have gathered one last time to play cards together, though now it's the expeditious and guileless Blackjack instead of the more intelligent and strategic poker. This pretty much encapsulates the similarities and differences between Picard and TNG.
- As anticipated, the whole Changeling involvement mystery that everyone obsessed over for 9/10 episodes turned out to be just a small footnote here. We're no wiser about all the questions this raises. Though I guess this gives the lawyers among us free licence to steelman Terry Matalas' supposed intentions to their hearts' content since there's nothing to prove or disprove their imaginative theories either way.
- It's soo typical to unkill Q the same way they revived Data... undoing the all the tragic emotional currency from the too-recent past... and somehow the less critical fans keep gobbling up the rinse-and-repeat cycle of our heartstrings being played so cheaply.
As for the this season as a whole: on a scale of "First Contact" to "Nemesis", I'd rate it around "Insurrection"...a film that I wasn't too crazy about, but still had its moments and its guilty pleasures.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:20am (UTC -5)
Are you guys sure you’re Trek fans? I thought you left the franchise in 1995 when they made the captain a woman.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:22am (UTC -5)
"Anyone who is thinking this is horrible and defacing Trek and so on, why put yourself through this? If it really makes you made that the Ent-D is flying around like the Falcon in the Death Star, you got 600+ hours of past series and movies to curl up with, no need to harm yourself with this."
The ones who this truly applies to won't answer. They already hate this series and just look for reasons to justify the hate-watching.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:22am (UTC -5)
"JJ did a superior job on both Trek and Wars - even TROS, FFS."
What a take. As Kirk said, "Well, there's no accounting for taste."
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:27am (UTC -5)
"The need for connection to others and what the lack of it can do to you.
It affects Picard, Riker, Jack, Seven, the Borg Queen, Ro, Raffi, Shaw and is manifested even in the fleet coordination plot line. They're all in need of it and/or suffering from the lack of it.
The series revolves it's people and it's plot around this idea."
I thought this same thing watching this episode, especially when Picard connected with Jack on the Borg cube. I really liked when Picard mentioned his desire to connect with others/find a family, yet always having that barrier between himself and them. Waiting to die in the vineyard. That actually really hit home for me personally.
One thing that really stuck out for me during this season is how, despite the end of All Good Things suggesting that these people would remain close, it didn't turn out that way. They didn't part on bad terms ala Riker and Worf in the Q-affected future, but they also largely hadn't spoken to or seen each other in a long time in the present one. I had wondered if this season would find a good way to resolve that, and I think it did.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:30am (UTC -5)
"Fascinating how so many Season 3 fans seem positively obsessed with those of us who don't like it. Some odd psychological issues going on here."
Absolutely no one is obsessed with any of you. It's simply tiresome having to sort through the unthoughtful garbage posts whining about every little nitpick or just vomiting "writing sucked" to find ones that ARE thoughtful, whether consisting of a positive, negative or neutral take. If only this forum had a way to ignore specific posters....
What IS actually obsessive is someone watching a series they decided they hated long ago just so they can immediately run here and spew their vitriol.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:31am (UTC -5)
"The amount of people ready to equate constructive criticism and/or disappointment to seething hatred almost borders on parody at this point. :)"
If you seriously think that all of the criticism belched forth about this season has been "constructive"....you really need to learn what constructive criticism truly is.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:05am (UTC -5)
@Dan "What a take. As Kirk said, "Well, there's no accounting for taste.""
Would you prefer I said on par with TROS?
I prefaced my original post as saying I would look back and undoubtedly opt to make a few edits. Let's say on par. Is it an exaggeration? All I can say is the feeling I had finishing The Last Generation was remarkably similar to the one I had when I left the movie theater after TROS.
This is not the Star Trek that propelled you to discuss it at length online. This is not the Star Trek you fell in love with. The writers have essentially weaponized the goodwill from all that you did love and concentrated it in this memb - fan service extravaganza. That does not necessarily invalidate the experience - most of the commentary here admits as much!
Tell me you loved it, go ahead. That's fine by me. I've stated on more than one occasion I've enjoyed parts of this season. But I had - HAD - hoped some semblance of a coherent story I could get behind might have emerged on the other side. This did not happen. I can forgive many things - cringy dialogue, 4 episodes dicking around on Matalas's planet, nostalgia caked on with all the subtlety of a two-dollar whore's makeup (believe it or not, I love a good bit of memberberry pie when it's done right).
But if the underlying story requires me to shut off my critical faculties to enjoy it, that's not a me problem. I don't recall having to make these allowances back in the day. If I liked an episode, I said I liked it. If they tossed some garbage at us like Spirit Folk, Profit and Lace or The Outrageous Okona, I said it stank!
There is still a basic level of quality - arguably subjective - that this season did not meet. That it didn't is a source of disappointment. If it met your standards, or you were happy to lower your standards so as to not diminish the wave of nostalgic euphoria, that is entirely your business.
I wish I could have loved it more. Do you think I was unmoved when Bev opened fire on the cube? The music and visuals were sumptuous - I loved it in isolation! If these spectacular scenes were attached to a good story I was invested in, I'd be over the moon. But we were severely shortchanged on that front.
I wanted substance and won't compromise when something so obviously falls short.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:23am (UTC -5)
Seeing her return from the grave and fighting the Borg once again was glorious. I agree with Jammer that it was total emotional manipulation, but as Data said to Guinan when he tried something new from Frokus III, “more? Please!”
Just like TNG, Picard had two flaky initial seasons, peppered with decent episodes here and there but the third season saw it hit its stride. Was it perfect, no. Could it have been better? Probably in places.
It felt like a much better send off than Nemesis, but then Nemesis was never meant to be a finale so I guess that’s a given.
And as a starship geek, I do lament that the 1701-F was given so little to do. I don’t think the Titan is prestigious enough for the Enterprise name and would rather the 1701-E have been Shelbys tomb and the F given to Seven.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:29am (UTC -5)
Stealing from Star Wars movies, repeating the old TNG ending. Renaming the Titan to Enterprise, using the sent off for the TNG crew as a set up for a new show. The Federation president is named Chekov. Seven becomes captain for disobeying orders, Jack (a serial liar and hardened criminal) gets an officer commission for free. Defeating the Borg for the 17th time. Turning a franchise finally into this anti form in which it is not people living and being formed in world that is better than ours but where it is all about personal relationships and family which, considering how they tossed all the relationships from the first two seasons, feels really weird. Only the most marketable relationships remained, I guess. Not to forget, nobody is ever really gone.
Sorry but to me this all feels so cynical.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:00am (UTC -5)
"But if the underlying story requires me to shut off my critical faculties to enjoy it, that's not a me problem."
Are you suggesting that any JJ Trek required critical facilities to be on?
"This is not the Star Trek that propelled you to discuss it at length online."
Should I mention that, here we are, discussing it? This review alone has nearly 200 comments (less, obviously, if you remove the bitching posts that don't lend themselves to discussion, but still..)
"This is not the Star Trek you fell in love with. "
A trailer for the 2009 JJ Trek said "This is not your father's Star Trek"
Did you fall in love with that Trek? The one where Kirk beats the alien swarm by playing the Beastie Boys? Trek hasn't been the same in quite a long time. So it goes. You find things to enjoy about the current incarnation or you don't.
I think people forget how much Trek was running out of steam during the Voyager/Enterprise years. No one was going to approve of any new Star Trek if it had been the same exact thing that we had during it's glory run.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:00am (UTC -5)
I think the main issue is the pacing of each given episode — the dialogue often felt like it was stretched to fit whatever was going on, rather than being a real medium of story telling. I think it speaks to the strength of the actors (but only now in their old age) and their grasp of the role (having sat on it for so many decades) that this does not fall through like most of the rest of NuTrek.
3.5 for this episode, a solid 3 for the season.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Yeah, I think Trek worked best when it wasn't serialized. There is value in serial stories... they can have deeper stories, richer characters.
But there can be negatives. They can very easily slip into being another genetic soap, for example. An argument can be made that that is all but inevitable.
The bigger negative to serialized Trek is that Trek (classically, at least) excels at crazy high concept stories.
Can you imagine the Twilight Zone as a serial? It doesn't make any sense.
Of course, for these specific characters who've been around this long, I want it to be about them.
Lol, could be true, historically people's favorite Doctor is the one they grew up with.
This may be different now, though, with streaming. In a way even with Doctor Who for Americans. In the 80s, we got batches of Who, and I saw plenty of 4 and 5, then ended up loving 3.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:21am (UTC -5)
"IMHO, I have no qualms with nimble maneuverability of the Enterprise D, or the original 1701 as depicted in SNW. What we saw in those series was quite simply a function of the severe limitations from filming with scale models. In production, the Enterprise D, as well as any other ship models had to be held stationary while a massive computer controlled camera did the maneuvers four identical times to capture detail and lighting. In reality, RCS thrusters combined with impulse engines (with inertial dampening) would make even the D nimbly maneuverable. Battles would at least look like what they did in the final season of DS9 with the Dominion War."
“I disagree. Won't argue the Star Trek physics of it, because you can make those do whatever you want, I'll just argue it on an emotional basis. IMHO the scale model movements felt more organic and natural. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “
Much of what was established for the movement of a Federation Starship goes back to the relatively primitive pre-motion control filming done on the smaller stages of the time at places like Lin Dunn’s Film Effects of Hollywood studio. Granted they were probably going for the “huge battleship at sea” look, but the size of the original Enterprise model coupled with the small throw of the stage limited what they could do.
When ILM started using computer aided motion control, they could do more sophisticated moves, but large models like the Millennium Falcon still gave them problems and necessitated smaller scale models for complex shots with a lot of wild flying maneuvers. VFX supervisor Richard Edlund (who designed the TOS font when he worked at Westhiemer’s optical house) even filmed shots upside down because of the size of the models and cumbersome Vistavision camera rigs.
I worked at a smaller VFX house for awhile during this time period, and shooting spaceships via motion control could take days. A guy would plot out the moves with the Tondreau motion control system and they’d shoot a take in black & white and project the film in the screening room to check the movement. They’d do this over & over until they got it right, then go film the individual passes needed for lights, engine glow, etc. It took hours, if not days.
IIRC, IMAGE G filmed the motion control models for TNG, and I have no idea how big their stage was, but in addition to emulating the lumbering ship movements from TOS, you can see from my description above, that a weekly TV show probably didn’t have the time or budget to shoot complex moves and concentrated on more generic stuff that could be reused for multiple episodes. The feature films did have the time & money, but the “look” for big starship movements had already been established.
All that being said, they COULD’VE had the motion control Enterprise move like an x-wing model, but because they never did, to some audience members, it just doesn’t “look right”.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:26am (UTC -5)
One could make a fairly objective argument that, cinematically, a thousand foot long ship should seem to move in a bit of a lumbering manner.
If I didn't know what it was, I would have assumed it was some little drone or something.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:29am (UTC -5)
Our heroes were never in peril after all, not one bit.
Even Earth has come out unscathed.
NCC-1701-D doesn't even look like it took a single scratch. Floating out of the exploding cube in the safe, comfortable bubble of its shields!
Who needs a crew when just the bridge crew can now fully pilot and control all the weaponry, propulsion and operations of a Galaxy-class starship?
Seven of Nine got her captaincy, and on a famed NCC class ship no less!
Even our friend Q is back, and everyone's happily playing poker at the end! Wheeeee!
Again, oh, what a relief! I thought I would be mentally or emotionally challenged by this episode, that we would be facing some sort of loss or that our fave characters would bite the proverbial dust. Thank goodness we are spared all that emotionalism and drama! Gosh, who needs that kind of rollercoaster ride anymore? Full speed ahead with the "Nu"! Fun days ahead for Trek!
--ahem cough choke hack--
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:10am (UTC -5)
The ship flitting around like a 3 foot drone also throws off any scene where the inertia stabilizer is offline or whatever. (Though, that thing going offline and the crew being bumped around like they were on five foot seas was already a ridiculous conceit. They would instantly be paint on the wall in all but the most minor inertial situations shown throughout Trek.)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:12am (UTC -5)
I'm going to quote Q, albeit with a rather opposite meaning than his:
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:01am (UTC -5)
One thing is niggling me though. Denise Crosby's complete lack of appearance in the entire 3 seasons of Piccard .In a show brimming with cameos I find completely weird that there was no appearance. One mention. I just think it's completely weird. She was a regular in the first year. Came back several times or more as herself and other characters. Got an appearance in the final show.......Even Wesley Crusher got a short appearance last season. That one has dissappointed me a little
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:06am (UTC -5)
She wasn't completely absent.
Yar's little paperweight hologram that showed her image did make an appearence.. I believe two episodes ago
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:18am (UTC -5)
Good one ;-) I can hear the Q in those words you wrote.
I guess that after watching that final episode today, I just felt like there wasn't much left to do but to write it off as fun entertainment. The tone of this last episode was really cemented by the (near)-final poker game shot. It really just felt like a poker game, but without very much guessing or bluffing, and very little to gamble for the viewer. No emotional engagement for me, really, just "wow" and "cool" and more of those "oohs" and "aahs" for the special effects.
It was fun while it lasted, like an old shoot-'em-up arcade video game that you plug a quarter into for your three rounds of game play. My take on it, anyway ;)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:28am (UTC -5)
That's a nice observation. They did pay their homage to the "older generation" in this particular season of ST: Picard.
Of course, they also sent them off drinking up all the booze in the bar and enjoying a poker game, too. Thus, perhaps the "meta" message there is that we are all going to eventually end up sitting around a poker table trading jabs after saving the universe and retiring :-D
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:07am (UTC -5)
Amen, @Booming. Yet you must admit you were wrong: In this case, unlike in previous NuTrek seasons, the fandom didn't turn on the show at the end. They love what has been delivered. Unity at last.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:10am (UTC -5)
I finished the show optimistic for Star Trek Legacy. Seven is always great, Raffi is fine when she is not a junkie, and after a terrible start Jack Crusher became quite engaging. I'd rather watch them do new things than watch the TNG cast do old, oft-repeated things. But this season, as it turns out, was never for me.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:31am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:33am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:35am (UTC -5)
And yet, from a ‘turn your brain off and enjoy it’ perspective, I did actually. This time. The thing is, that’s not the mindset that I like to take into Star Trek. ST was always the place where I could think, be challenged, and sometimes also be silly. I appreciated ST for being ridiculous as well as being intellectual. I looked up to TNG because they were professionals, diplomats and philosophers. Growing up in the military and serving in the Navy and the State Department were dreams of mine BECAUSE I looked up to the Crew of the Enterprise-D so much. (Two dreams that soured significantly once I got there to be sure).
Critically, a lot of this episode doesnt necessarily stand up to scrutiny. I wont add anything that hasn’t already been articulated.
But I’m left with thinking the reason why this ‘worked’ was because of the characters, and more accurately, the actors who embody them. Replace the TNG bridge crew with any other characters and the show wouldn’t hold up under its own weight. It would be another boring, iterative SyFy in spaceeeee boom boom action adventure. The TNG cast earned the reverence they receive (as performers - Patrick Stewart is kind of an ego maniac IRL) for the decades of hard work they put int, fan expectation carry and candle holding for the stories and adventures that define the youths of thousands of us. No, i dont think Picard overall is great Star Trek. But yes, I think these fine actors have carried the flag being the franchise mascots so well for so long that despite all the flaws of this show, they earned their moment to save the world one last time.
Would I prefer stronger storytelling? Yeah of course. Would I prefer more mature intellectual themes? Yes but I’m realistic enough to know that wont happen in Trek anymore. Am I excited for future adventures in the Star Trek universe? Not really, no. But, did I put my best headphones on and listen to that evocative theme song on repeat a few times? You bet I did.
I walked away from this finale applauding a bravo to this cast (and the writers, producers, set designers, make up artists, composers, camera crew, editors), not necessarily for this particular program or this finale episode, but for the work they’ve done for a long time and as thank you for being an important part of my life for 30 years.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:36am (UTC -5)
This isn't BEST TREK EVAR! But most Trek wasn't. TNG was, broadly speaking, 1/3rd excellent, 1/3rd mediocre, and 1/3rd godawful. We tend to downplay the awful, save for a few episodes (like Code of Honor) and completely forget the mediocrity. But compared to the majority of TNG's run this is...fine. Probably better than fine. It's just not on the level of All Good Things, The Inner Light, or Tapestry.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:42am (UTC -5)
Was I hoping for things to come together in a way that was a little more, well, logical? Yes. I was also hoping to maybe see Janeway, Wesley, Guinan, etc. But as a few have said here, I think it’s important to recognize that we live in the real world. Not everyone is available. Not everyone wants to do this. Resources and time aren’t unlimited. Maybe things had to be rushed based on certain actors’ schedules, or production schedules. Maybe the network insisted on a Borg angle that had to be added in. We don’t know. Sometimes you play the hand you’re dealt and hope it works out. It’s also important to remember that a lot of TNG doesn’t hold up if you think about it too much, and there was a lot of just plain bad TNG as well. For me, this season and especially the finale worked out just well enough that I can feel good about this final act. Seeing the whole crew on the bridge saving the galaxy once again and then playing poker afterwards - just, wow.
I’m mostly grateful that the core seven are still alive, relatively healthy, and willing to come together to give me and all of us a send off. I never knew I needed this closure on the last 37 years of my life, but it turns out that I did. Thank you to the show and to Jammer and all of you for giving me this sense of connection.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:07am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:08am (UTC -5)
I know some people were disappointed about the Borg being the big baddie, but let's face it, the Borg put TNG on the map, and rightfully so. In all of Trek lore, the Borg has been the most iconic, fearsome and formidable foe bar none. Not to downplay the Klingons and Romulans, but they were like mere thugs in comparison to a bio genetic hive mind bent on making every sentient being a part of their collective. Fitting that Enterprise D, which introduced them to the galaxy, should end with their ultimate destruction. After all these were the entities Q used to show the Enterprise crew that they were not ready.
I knew that card game was coming. Had a grin on my face the whole time. I thought Q was going to pop up in the middle of it for one more poke at Jean Luc. But apparently he has a new muse.
Final verdict. TNG was like catching lightning in a bottle. I can't tell you how many standing ovations I've given this show, with episodes like "The Inner Light", "Times Arrow"; the motion picture "First Contact" and now one more for the road, Picard season 3. Five stars
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:30am (UTC -5)
TNG didn't have a lot of sizzle, but it did have a lot of hearty steak. Picard the series has lots of sizzle, and rather less steak.
In seasons 1 and 2, it felt like the entire seasons were leading up to a handful of phenomenal moments, involving some of the old TNG cast and/or guests. But the journey to get there was more along the lines of what we'd see in most of the other new-age Trek, which is to say it was a bit clumsy. It feels like the plot is either too neatly tied up, or too sloppy. Rarely is it "just right."
Season 3 was better because it loaded up on that enticing sizzle. They went with the SW episode 9 approach, but I liked this series more than SW9 -perhaps because I simply enjoy its interactions between the legacy characters more. No more steak than before, but so it goes. I don't think I'll come back to this series often in future years, but I don't regret seeing it.
I can't really give this episode more than a 3, and that's because of the legacy characters. It'd be a 2 on Discovery.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:41am (UTC -5)
I’m aware of all the changes to Hollywood magic over the years. I stand by my statements that it doesn’t look organic or natural and it deletes some of the magic.
Babylon 5 was all CGI. In the early years they took the time to make the big ships — even those from the super advanced powers that had near Star Trek levels of power and could theoretically ignore physics — move like big ships.
Watch The Long, Twilight Struggle. Perfect. Then watch A Call to Arms. It took these huge ships — from Earthforce no less, who were supposedly limited to Newtonian mechanics — and made them move like F-16s.
In B5’s case I think they changed SFX houses and JMS was kind of burned out by that point (he’d never have gone for it in the early years)
Regardless, I stand by my belief that Star Trek looked better with models than CGI. Movement is a large part of that but not all of it. We lost something with the cut and paste fleets, it cheapens things, and this isn’t unique to NuTrek. I felt the same way about DS9’s large scale fleet engagement episodes.
If you want to go to the tech manuals, well, the only video game that faithfully implements the Enterprise-D was “A Final Unity”, which gets ripped apart in reviews for an overly complicated tactical interface. I actually liked it and fought it manually (most players turn it over to Worf, lol), zipping around at large fractions of C and fighting at hundreds of thousands of kilometers instead of spitting distance like we saw in most of DS9 and much of TNG.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Music good, visuals excellent, acting is decent to quite good.
But the writing is atrocious. This is not good TV, not even close. There’s nothing fresh, surprising or artful.
Watch succession, better call Saul and then watch this: you will realize how bad this really is.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:54am (UTC -5)
A few observations:
Tuvok's scene has probably been written for Janeway originally, but Mulgrew couldn't make it for whatever reason. Still happy to have had Tuvok back.
Sad that Guinan wasn't at the table with everyone. Would have also loved to see Ro, Shelby, and Kestra being ok. And Laris, of course.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 9:27am (UTC -5)
Lack of Laris was kinda lame. Did she die on the way back to Poochie’s home planet?
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 9:49am (UTC -5)
"And so the NCC Girlboss warps into the sunset, no doubt off to new adventures of fetishized female violence while the men overshare their feelings. I'm here for it. Are you?"
No definitely no. Jeri Ryan is a spectacular actress, and I will be revisiting her on Voyager again. She deserves much better writing than the girlboss garbage that brought us She-Hulk, Velma, etc. These studios just can't resist the urge to ruin everything.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 9:56am (UTC -5)
I would never watch Succession or Better Call Saul because they are dramas based on scenarios that I have no interest in.
It's ok if you prefer more 'sophisticated' television with your version of 'good' writing, but it's a bit narcissistic to think that others have to be 'tricked into thinking they like something' just because it isn't "up to" your standards.
You sound like the critics that panned the Super Mario Brothers movie only to see it become the biggest movie of the year. I had a blast watching that and watching Picard season 3.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:02am (UTC -5)
"Terry Matalas said they spent a ton of time building the Enterprise-D bridge and then only had two days to shoot on it. That's just insane. The production schedule for this season must have been incredibly tight. It seems almost tragic to go to that much work and then only get two days of use out of it. And then what? Were the sets struck shortly thereafter?"
I read several interviews with Matalas and he answers almost every question with some variant of "we wanted to do more but we ran out of time". It makes me wonder what he could have done without those crazy time constraints.
I read another article about building the Enterprise D set, it took a team of 50 people 3 months to create it! The article didn't go into detail but it said that multiple parties were interested in preserving the set after shooting.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:15am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:18am (UTC -5)
Stellar review as always. Beautifully captured the balance, I think, between the critical and the sentimental. This season worked overall due solely to the cast and demonstrates why they were such a superb group of actors chosen to fill this roles way back when. It helps that they and their characters elevate what is otherwise iterative sci-fi. As a send off, I found myself pleased and appreciative of their body of work over many decades rather than just this one coda, episode or season.
To the jammersreviews community…
Thank you for many decades of thought, debate and conversation. I have been more a lurker here than a commenter since I found this site during the mid 00’s shortly after Battlestar Galactica premiered looking for a home to discuss it and analyze it. I have read nearly every comment on every review in the nearly 20 years since. You’ve all been as much a part of my thoughts, learning and growing as Jammer’s reviews have. To those who help me focus my point of view further and to those who provide me with opposing points of view altogether, thank you.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:18am (UTC -5)
“ By golly, they stuck the landing.”
No they didn’t. This was typical unhinged Kurtzman Trek garbage. The final scenes were nice (albeit uncreative - OH MY GOD THEYRE DOING ALL GOOD THINGS!!! IM GOING TO CUM!) but ultimately this was completely unhinged childish garbage.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:29am (UTC -5)
Overall, I think this was basically a season of professionally made fan-fiction - and, with all the plot holes and inconsistencies (so now you only need 4 crew members to run an antiquated ship the size of the D? Against a Borg cube, albeit crippled?) and cop-outs and the lamentable lack of regard for DS9 (the best Trek show ever, and apparently it will always be), this season was still a triumph. I hope it is enough to propel Paramount to green-light the spin-off - I love SNW and LD but I am tired of prequels and I am dying to see more of 25th century Trek.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:31am (UTC -5)
This is the best season finale in NuTrek and it's not even close. But I really like Jammer's comparison to the movies, these last two episodes had the look and feel of a movie. To me, this is the send off Nemesis should have been. Is it deep and thought provoking? Not at all. But I enjoyed watching it and I'm really glad they made it.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:38am (UTC -5)
the downside: I'll spare you that. :)
We Westerners had a few tough years, so you know what, just enjoy it.
No more negatives from me. Promise!
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:39am (UTC -5)
"Sad that Guinan wasn't at the table with everyone. Would have also loved to see Ro, Shelby, and Kestra being ok. And Laris, of course."
Respectfully disagree with both of you on this. I think the closing scene had to be the seven heroes from the lead cast.
I get the sentiment, but if you're going to have Guinan in there, then you've also got a case to make for Wesley, Chief O'Brien, Barclay, Nurse (Doctor now?) Ogawa, and how many others? At a certain point it'd just be cheap and there's no way to close on a card game with as many people as arguably deserved to be in that scene.
It'd be a bit of a fan-wank, but I'd personally have done it exactly like they did, but have it in the actual Ten Forward, immediately after they turn the lights off on the bridge. They rebuilt that set for S1, probably not still around, but presumably it could be recreated cheaper than the bridge set was?
Also, now that Jammer and at least one other commenter has said it, they only had two days to shoot on the bridge??? WTH??? Why would you go to the expense to recreate this, as the capstone to the season, the ultimate fan service, and then rush through it like that? They threw gobs of money at this production but couldn't afford to rent the sound stage for a few more days? I'd love to hear from someone connected to the industry how the logic of this works, I'm sure it's not unique to Picard, but c'mon showrunners.....
Also, Jammer, I'm gonna needle you a little bit for this: "the reasonable part of me knows better and doesn't want to hand out stars like candy"
*shoots side eye at the three star reviews for JJ Star Trek and Into Darkness*
(I know, they aren't meant for direct comparisons, lol, which is why I'm needling you with a smile on my face instead of actually being angry :D)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Yes, it's explained when they find Data.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:13am (UTC -5)
"(so now you only need 4 crew members to run an antiquated ship the size of the D? Against a Borg cube, albeit crippled?"
Well, there were a few TNG episodes where a single person ran the whole ship, through conversations with the computer, so, they didn't make this up. Presumably there'd be an expiration date on it, as parts broke down and the ship needed maintenance, but in the short term it's not hard to buy.
The Trek nitpicker in me hates how the Galaxy Class was portrayed as "antiquated" here. The design is only about 40 years old by this point. We've got ships older than that on front line service in the real world. Also, the tech manual said the design was built for 100 years of service, with major overhauls every 20 years. We should have seen some in the ctrl + v fleet. If memory serves there was one in the fleet at the end of S2? You can call the 'D' antiquated, she's a museum ship that didn't get upgrades, but there should be some Galaxy Class ships still on frontline service!
Also, the Trek nitpicker, what happened to "Projections suggest that a Borg ship like this one could continue to function effectively even if seventy eight percent of it was inoperable." They should have had the cube only at 1 or 2% function, not 30% or whatever the number was.
Again, nitpicks that didn't subtract from my overall enjoyment of the episode, just fun stuff to talk about with fellow Trekkies. :-)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:23am (UTC -5)
"I’m aware of all the changes to Hollywood magic over the years. I stand by my statements that it doesn’t look organic or natural and it deletes some of the magic."
Yes, I agree with you--I much prefer physical models to CGI. The amount of time it takes to actually mimic the physics of the natural world are extremely time-consuming and not always 100% convincing. For me, the limitations of physical models being filmed in the real world are definitely part of what makes them seem more real. And I love those close-to-the-camera fly-bys of large physical models--the surface detail is awesome and you rarely see that in CGI.
For Rogue One, Garth Edwards wanted model spaceships too, so ILM constructed digital models using digitally scanned plastic model parts to replicate the old-school surface texture, duplicated the lighting & motion control movements, then showed Gareth side by side shots of physical model vs digital model and he couldn't tell the difference. It can be done, but it takes a concerted effort to do so.
My main point of my previous post was that if the technology had existed in the 1960s to make a convincing, fast-moving Enterprise, THAT's what we'd be used to, and any deviation from that would ADD to the "not looking right" effect--no matter what technology you used or how realistic it was.
The sad part is that there are very few places that can even do that kind of motion control work anymore. John Knoll had to construct a motion control rig from scratch using a digital camera to do a handful of model shots of the Razor Crest model ship in the Mandalorian. Great BTS video, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtGAiEQEIXE
Those old motion control camera rigs go up for auction all the time, and it's very much becoming a lost art.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Nice review as always. I too wavered between 3 and 3.5 but since I don't write these reviews, you were probably less clouded by emotion than I was. I'm glad you didn't get bogged down in the light plot like some posters did. I get it, but we need to real here. This was always about the characters. If people are looking for deep sci fi or better plotting, I recommend a rewatch of TNG, DS9, Babylon 5, or Battlestar Galactica. Looking forward to SNW.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:31am (UTC -5)
I guess I'd better check it out.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:34am (UTC -5)
"You sound like the critics that panned the Super Mario Brothers movie only to see it become the biggest movie of the year. I had a blast watching that and watching Picard season 3."
I think my sentiment is somewhere between yours and @Sj82's.
No, I don't think Star Trek needs to be Better Call Saul.
But it also needs to be more than Super Mario Brothers.
The good entries in the Star Trek canon weren't popcorn action flicks. They were somewhat cerebral plots that forced the audience to THINK.
The absolute best entries in the canon successfully combined the two, i.e., Wrath of Khan, plenty of action in that movie, but the concept of "Genesis" was something that forced you to THINK. Imagine that kind of power. Imagine it in the wrong hands. It was also a story about coming to terms with getting older, something relatable for the non-Trek audience members. Ditto Undiscovered Country, that was about geopolitics, forgiveness, and retirement, all things that require you to use your brain, not turn it off and watch the pew pew while stuffing your face with popcorn.
The highest grossing Trek movie of all time -- prior to the JJVerse -- was Voyage Home, the movie with the least amount of action and the most cerebral plot of them all. It can get mainstream acceptance, if you write it well, this isn't something that only Trekkies want. :-)
The TNG crew in particular was ill suited for popcorn flick action stories, which is why the movies mostly turned out to be underwhelming. In the whole run of the show I think they only pulled it off once or twice, with passable but not great episodes. Starship Mine and Gambit come to mind. Jammer rated them 2.5 stars, which is about right IMHO. Enjoyable episodes, easy to squeeze into a 26 episode season, but when you only got a movie every two or three years it wasn't wrong for the Trekkies in the audience to feel disappointed when it turned out to be Yet Another Action Movie™.
Picard S3 I think avoided this trap, for the most part, my fundamental issue with it would be one of pacing and the things (twists and unnecessary cliffhangers) that annoy me with all NuTrek productions. Like Geordi resisting Picard's pleas for help for no apparent reason other than to consume airtime. It might have been earned if we had caught up to his character and seen -- rather than been told about -- his love for his family. But coming the way it did, it felt totally out of character, it was just a way to pad the runtime of the episode. Why not spend that runtime catching up on his life rather than creating faux-drama? Nobody in the audience seriously thought he wasn't gonna help Picard. The drama wasn't real, it was just padding.
I said earlier it should have been a three hour movie, I'll revise that and say four hours, do it old school with an intermission between the two parts and focus on the Jack Crusher and Borg parts of the story. Delete the Changelings. Plenty of time in four hours to catch up with our characters, introduce new ones (Shaw), and give the Borg story the attention it deserved with a satisfying ending.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:36am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:43am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:45am (UTC -5)
HEY! I'll have you know that "NCC Girlboss" is emerging as a real-life parody show on several Trek forums. The first three episode summaries just dropped, and we're looking for writers and producers. So far, I've only invited Peyton List to interview for 152 staff and production positions. Here are the episodes in the can, writing wise:
NCC Girlboss, S1 E1 - "Artoo Me Too". The newly minted crew of the Seven-led Titan races against time, as they struggle to rescue an isolated tribe of cliff-jumping eunuchs while two workplace romances threaten to tear the crew apart.
NCC Girlboss, S1 E2 - "Third Time's the Harm". Captain Seven navigates a difficult conversation with Ira and Beatrice Shaw, as she faces her own need to have their son's corpse praise her one more time.
NCC Girlboss, S1 E3 - "Boys Will Be Boys". Having served on the Titan for six months without being given anything to do, Jack Crusher begins to doubt his own purpose. A new friend shows him how to be a man of no purpose in Starfleet. (Special Guest Star: Anson Mount)
Plenty more to come, feel free to contribute.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:49am (UTC -5)
I agree, it also seems odd given the Borg's ability to regenerate. I can only speculate that Janeway's virus delivered in VOY's Endgame destoryed the Borg's basic functions.
It would have been really cool if they started the episode with "previously on Star Trek", play the clips from Endgame, and then follow it with a 10 minute flashback scene showing the deterioration of the Borg over time and how they eventually linked up with the Changlings.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:50am (UTC -5)
There are Galaxy-class ships still in service if you go back and pause on shots of the fleet from episode nine, "Vox." They are have been refitted with new nacelles and the "spine" down the back from the saucer is a darker gray color, but they are clearly Galaxy class refits. One is prominently noticeable on the very first shot of the fleet before the Enterprise-F leaves Spacedock.
I love starships in Trek so I spent a good amount of time looking at those scenes. There are also Defiant class ships, a lot of Sovereigns, and many other familiar designs just refitted. The only prominent design I didn't notice were any Intrepids. I bet if I went and watched the battle scenes in episode 10 I would find some, though. Matalas clearly cares about that sort of thing and wouldn't overlook it.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:54am (UTC -5)
That's the point. Each 'trekkie' is into it for their own reasons. My two favorites of the motion pictures were "First Contact" and "The Voyage Home"
My reasons for liking them are the same; they both involved time travel. Watching how the present folk reacted to the future folk was what made it enjoyable for me. The standout scene for me from Voyage Home was Spock referring to cussing as "colorful metaphors." The 'save the whales' plot was just an incidental for me.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:57am (UTC -5)
I hope that's not how y'all intend it, I give this community more benefit of the doubt than I give others, but I see lots of outright sexism fishing through comments elsewhere. IMHO you can't claim the mantle of "Trekkie" while indulging in Internet misogyny. I would say that in the aforementioned elsewhere but I know it would be pissing into the wind.
Also, building on my Voyage Home remarks, one of my favorite stories from that movie is how they screened it in the Soviet Union and McCoy's comment, "The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe." received a standing ovation.
Is there any witty one liner in Picard S3 or any installment of NuTrek with that kind of cross cultural appeal? A one liner that could be translated into another language without losing its meaning?
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
I see your point on the skeleton - more like 2 ribs and 4 vertebrae - crew thing; if it was established in previous episodes, then it is not inconsistent, it just strains credulity, then and now.
And “antiquated” is obviously relative: my take here is that you have a situation where a ship that in its heyday, when it was the flagship of the fleet, required a crew complement of 1,000 to run effectively; and it’s now being taken out of mothballs decades later with a tiny tiny tiny fraction of that crew complement to enter a shooting match with a Borg cube. So even if episodes 30 years ago had the D at close to leading edge technology running fully automated, it again strains credulity that they could pull it off now, when its tech has stopped in time (they clearly established that the reason they can operate the ship after the Borg takeover is that the tech was NOT updated). Maybe the Borg cube tech has also stopped in time?
I am guessing if they had at least acknowledged this in-story (a simple comment from Geordi saying that this system or that tech is not available or became unavailable when shot up because they didn’t have enough crew members to work on it or repair it) would have done it for me (unless I missed it while fist-pumping at the Death Star raid). What we got instead is the final homage of this show to Star Trek Online, besides using their ship designs.
Did this reduce my enjoyment with the episode? Not at all. But did this briefly take me off the story while I tried to reconcile it? Yes. Ultimately you can say it doesn’t really matter and that I am nit-picking, but I think this is the kind of attention to detail that in my opinion separates good stuff from great stuff.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
Good is subjective. But I agree that Avatar 2 was meh. It was the same movie , with an ocean setting rather than a forest.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
I think the plate is going in the shredder.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
"the upside: The boys admitting to like it because of the feels. Men really have developed quite a bit over the last few decades."
How magnanimous of the Crown to dispense such praise on almost half the population. It is only with such voices of reason, unadulterated by ego or gender-based hubris, that men can hope to evolve. Our worthiness isn't even a consideration here. Only our gratitude is.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
As so often it is complicated. Yes, a part of the men complaining about the girlboss thing are showing some level of misogyny. The word in itself is insulting and infantilizing . Still there is also the problem that companies now use certain appeals, pseudo/marketable feminism, to make money and some people dislike that which is more than justified. Or as Marx called it:"The commodification of all aspects of life." Meaning that in capitalism anything is sooner or later turned into a product.
Still, the arguments here seemed to tilt towards the former.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
"How magnanimous of the Crown to dispense such praise on almost half the population. It is only with such voices of reason, unadulterated by ego or gender-based hubris, that men can hope to evolve. Our worthiness isn't even a consideration here. Only our gratitude is."
Men have worth, that doesn't have to be proven. I think that more and more men moving away from toxic masculinity and being closer to their true self is a good thing. :)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:17pm (UTC -5)
I mean, they might have, it's hard to say, but I tend to think they would not have indulged like that even if they had the ability to do it. The nautical themes were very heavy in TOS and the Enterprise was always treated like a ship, not a fighter craft. TNG continued this. DS9 and Voyager emphasized it less but I don't feel it was forgotten about entirely until JJVerse and NuTrek.
Regardless, I do wish they'd get back to it!
Or, in the alternative, be truer to the tech manuals and fight battles at a distance of a few light seconds. Babylon 5 did it successfully in The Long Twilight Struggle, you don't need ships in the same frame at knife fighting distance to have tension in a combat scene.
I kinda hate this trend towards, for lack of a better phrase, "Star Wars'ifying" Star Trek combat scenes. They even used the word "turrets" in the finale here. Ugh. Why would the Borg have "turrets"? Enterprise-D doesn't. Modern ships don't (for their primary weaponry; they do still have guns). The Borg need "turrets" for their weapons now? C'Mon.....
Wrath of Khan's engagements still work today despite the SFX being no where near as good as what we saw yesterday.
So does "Balance of Terror" and that was 1960s tech, but the scenes still work! They work even if you've watched "The Enemy Below" and realize how blatantly they ripped it off (err, I mean paid homage to). :-)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
See my other posts. The NCC Girlboss stuff is just taking the piss. It is supposed to be humor based on the poor extremes written in S3. You certainly haven't seen any "back in the kitchen" or "M-She-U!" dreck in my posts. I already posted at length about having no qualms with feminism or related themes, noting how Picard S1 did it far better.
Can anyone say with a straight face say that the conflicts and violence from/among the women on S1 was presented more poorly than S3? S3 is a badly written cartoon by comparison! Raffi yelling into the city night. Seven being insufferably intense in every. single. line. read.
I challenge you all to rewatch S1 and S3 in parallel. S1 isn't great television by any means (I'm sorry, Peyton. Peyton, hello?) You may find your conclusion very surprising.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:21pm (UTC -5)
Mulgrew still goes around calling herself the greatest Star Trek captain , and "The Force is Female." ... stop, just stop
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:25pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
I complained about Discovery shoehorning in Stacey Abrams for the reasons you're outlining here. It was a cheap stunt, that ripped me (side note, a bonafide Stacey Abrams fan) out of the universe, and all it accomplished in the end was to alienate a sizable portion of the audience. The ones the producers were allegedly trying to reach at that. They should have left well enough alone!
This ain't that though. "NCC Girlboss" reads to me like bitching about the fact we might have a series on deck with two female leads. We're supposed to be past caring about such things now. They certainly are past caring in the 24th/25th centuries.
If you want to attack it, attack it on the basis that Starfleet just put a confirmed addict and confirmed "orders are optional" hothead in command of a starship. Leave the gender of the characters alone.
Granted, they've done things like that in every series. It's one of the conceits of Star Trek. Sisko and Co. routinely treated orders as optional. If you go watch "The Die is Cast" Sisko did in a context that was indefensible even by Star Trek standards, risking his ship, station, and the entire planet of Bajor just to rescue one man, against orders, something frowned on other shows and even other DS9 episodes. In the real world he'd be spending a few years in Leavenworth after that stunt. In Star Trek he gets mildly chided by his CO and threatened with a promotion. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
I'll make it easier for you. My motives for the humorous Girlboss episode summaries had NOTHING TO DO WHATSOEVER WITH HAVING TWO FEMALE LEADS.
You will see from the summaries that my objections were quite specific, and based on things pointed out in my comments:
E1 - "Artoo Metoo" - how on earth would you expect a crew with a #1 and Captain who already were involved, and a Mumble Mumble Counselor who googly eyed with the Helmswoman to behave? Result: TWO workplace romances. The bit about wandering eunuchs was just a silly joke, for some reason I had Varys in mind.
E2 - "Third Times the Harm" - based on the ridiculous writing of having Shaw not only use his dying moment to praise Seven, but literally doing so again BEYOND THE GRAVE. So I thought its funny to imagine Seven asking his parents to dig that Chicago grease monkey up one more time.
E3 - "Boys will be Boys" - based on Jack's complete lack of qualifications to serve in a bridge role, and the "girlbosses" knowing it. The punch line, of course, is my opinion of Captain Pike as a pointless charactre on SNW, who sounds like he's reading self-help claptrap in his off hours.
That's it. No "women are silly and fun to laugh at!" No "women don't deserve to lead!" No "get back in the kitchen".
It was all quite innocent, I assure you.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
"It's just another way of saying marysue: females being elevated to a postion, not based on merit, but to fill an agenda. Males are purposely made to look like buffoons in order to elevate how much better the female is; as if the female's seemingly innate ability to be excellent at everything without a modicum of experience, isn't enough. "
What male in S3 was made to look like a buffoon? Picard perhaps but the only agenda there was creating conflict with another male (Riker) character.
How has Seven not earned her position? Years on Voyager, presumably years in Starfleet since we last saw her, one of the greatest scientific minds in the Federation, decades of relevant experience.....
"Mulgrew still goes around calling herself the greatest Star Trek captain , and "The Force is Female." ... stop, just stop"
I have no idea what Kate Mulgrew is doing in the real world nor do I care. :-)
My issues with her character have nothing to do with gender. I could pen a wall of text on my problems with Janeway but this isn't the forum for that. Mulgrew's actions in the real world aren't applicable here. And, FWIW, my issues with the character boil down to writing decisions. Mulgrew did the best she could with the material they gave her. At least she got material. Ask Robert Beltran how he feels about the show all these years later. 'Member him? Voyager's writers forgot about him when the show was still on air. ;-)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Not sure if the Borg cube tech stopped in time but it was severely degraded. They reference it only being 37% operational, when they beam in the cube Riker immediately notices the lack of drones, and the Queen had to consume many drones just to stay alive. What little function the cube had was presumably focused on coordinating the assault on Earth, so it's not crazy to think the old Enterprise D could engage the cube given its condition.
As far as how the Enterprise could run with a small crew, Geordi did drop a line on drones loading torpedos into the bay, so they had some help from machine labor. I don't think it's unreasonable that the ship could be operated by a small crew for a short duration. The full 1,000+ crew complement is for all the science and diplomatic missions the ship would be tasked with (I'm assuming the ship would have dozens of science missions going on at any given point in time).
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:42pm (UTC -5)
Oh well, I guess we can only hope that in the future there might be one or two movies in which men are "elevated to a postion (sic), not based on merit, but to fill an agenda." :D Maybe one day...
I made a few negative comments about this show but I really don't care that much anymore. It is what it is. Why get worked up over it. :)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
- Seven's promotion feels a bit undeserved to me. She doesn't seem to be fit for captain's chair. LET ALONE the FLAGSHIP's captain. Both in-universe and real world: she's just not an interesting character after Voyager. She became a generic Tough Woman™
- Raffi as first officer, WTF, Terry. Killing off a fan-favorite but keeping around the character that has, dare I say, the lowest fan-rating of all S3 cast? And I was really getting a "Two Tough Women a Dumb Male" vibe from that bridge scene. Maybe I'm biased because of Discovery, but that's what it felt like.
- Q was gratuitous. Why would he keep on stalking another Picard?
- How effing BIG was that Borg cube?! The old ones were 3 kilometers deep. This one was at least 50.
- The rechristening of the Titan felt like a cop-out. I love Dave Cullen's alternate ending idea: Titan remains Titan, but after the fleet has been damaged the D is upgraded with... a 3rd nacelle, the cloak from Titan/Bounty, becomes a Dreadnought-class ship, and a temporary flagship with Riker in command. Until a proper Ent-G is built. One season of that would be great. I mean, they DID REBUILD THE BRIDGE, why not just use it?! And we could still have a Titan series in parallel.
P.S. The ending must have been reedited. The "one year later" thing doesn't track - Picard/Riker/Georgi are still wearing their field jackets. Worf and Raffi have the new combadges, but cut to Deanna and Data and they still have the old ones.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:29am (UTC -5)
"Ahhh, what a relief!
Our heroes were never in peril after all, not one bit.
Even Earth has come out unscathed."
Exactly. How long could it possibly take to target Paris and get a photon torpedo flying?
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
No, I think Season 3 happens relatively shortly after Season 2. A reasonable use of the character would have Seven be more than qualified by this time to be a captain, the problem is that this show's Marvel-esque writing made her be a crazy violent pirate with no experience as an officer because Starfleet is racist. So no, against all odds they managed to make Seven not earn her position.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
Yes Seven has earned her postion but she may as well have said to Jack "Get out of my chair, you idiot!´" And then both women stare at him like school marms staring down a naughty boy.
Why was Jack in her chair in the first place? He knew he wasn't the captain. On the surface it was to throw off the audience. In the long run it was to make him look unprofessional.
Interesting though that Q came to him rather than the captain.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
"cromulent" ... thank you for that one. I had to look it up ... lol
"At this point in the comments section, I'd like to point out we've already got a few instances of fanbois pre-empting negative commentary with a hearty "fuck off if you didn't like it", to the grand total of zero detractors attacking those that did like it."
hmmmm... maybe that should tell you something
"The writers and creatives at the top of the Trek food chain, I'm gonna say it plain and simple: none of you get Star Trek. Even you, Terry. JJ did a superior job on both Trek and Wars - even TROS, FFS."
FFS?? I'm not even a SW nut and I know that JJ fraked up SW (the 1st one was a copy, his wife would let him do the second, and the 3rd was a joke)... he did a MUCH better job with trek IMO.
Do you hate watch everything? I don't recall ever reading a positive review from you.
Not saying you shouldn't have or freely state your opinion, but damn man...
" Seeing Shaw's recommendation to promote Seven immediately casts his entire story arc in a completely different light and no longer feels like some good character development (which, even while I loved the character, I thought was a bit weak). To me, his recommending the promotion means he just doesn't know how or refuses to not be a dick."
His entire story arc was he was an asshole. He even admitted as much. From his refusal to address 7 correctly to his misguided Wolf 359 crap. I thought it was nice to see him sort of grow out of that before he croaked.
"3) Star Trek's reputation was made on theme, not plot. The world it created was incidental and it should respect but not become a slave to it."
The more i think about this the more I agree with it. I've never heard it put that way.
"You can see that the shadow of Disco/NuTrek is hanging over Picard and the possible spin off.
For example, the "reason" Seven was promoted (she does not follow orders but she has heart and guts) would make Burnham having multiple orgasmes."
So true... I thought the same thing when I heard his recommendation. He was an asshole, but this had to be approved by StarFleet which is even worse.
"It is worse than Jack not earning his commission: He is a criminal whose actions (giving himself up to the Borg Queen) led to the murder of thousands of Starfleet officers"
That's a little harsh. He let Titan to find and stop the borg. He was overcome by circumstances once he found her. That's like blaming Picard for Wolf 359.
@Narissa's Bath Water,
"Contrast this with S3, where Raffi and Seven are cardboard cutouts who enact scenes taken directly from other sci fi action franchises."
They were cardboard cutouts of "not being in TNG".
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
First, they are literally prone to exploding. The D several times, but a few others as well. TOS era ships could take extreme amounts of damage and I'm not sure if one ever exploded, short of being deliberately destroyed.
Second, and related, Starfleet moved to a much more militaristic style not that long after the Galaxy Class debuted. The carpet and kindergartens and all that would very quickly look like some curiosity.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
FWIW, I don't endorse the Janeway argument made by Mephyve, though I agree with the general sentiment they were expressing. I didn't find Janeway or Mulgrew problematic in any way, and also agreed with Mulgrew that Seven disrupted the chemistry to gain teenage boys as viewers.
But like Bucktown and I agreed, "feminism" , or a better term, "gender parity" would be a presentation where character behavior is independent of their identified gender. When writers cram storylines full of cases that make women pure action heroes (note the avoidance of "elevate" for "make"), and make the males mostly sit around sharing feelings, it isn't destroying an archetype, it is INVERTING it.
As for S3 male buffoons, one jumps out quite clearly: the cook on the bridge of the Titan, whose entire purpose was to be a cowardly buffoon and contrast to Seven's strength and bravery. Some have made the argument that a pacified Worf is an unfair denigration of his male heritage, but I say that's fair game. They made Worf act in BOTH violent and peaceful ways, which rendered a lot of comedic value. Saying Worf was an insult to male tropes is taking it too far.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:58pm (UTC -5)
Does it justify marysues to replicate the wrongs of history?
Wonder Woman can be impressive alongside Superman without having him trip over his own cape.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Thank you for the reviews, Jammer. I’ve been following you for many years. Cheers.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Because he's young and arrogant, which is rather in character for someone whose father is Jean-Luc Picard. You presumably saw Tapestry back in the day? It's literally in his genes and the last few years of his life experience.
- Tom Paris.
- Elizabeth Shelby (who deserved better than she got here in Picard!)
- Julian Bashir in the early seasons.
Arrogance and cockiness in young Starfleet officers is hardly new. :)
Sometimes it blows up in their face. See Nicholas Locarno. See Jean-Luc Picard's artificial heart.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
"As for S3 male buffoons, one jumps out quite clearly: the cook on the bridge of the Titan, whose entire purpose was to be a cowardly buffoon and contrast to Seven's strength and bravery."
I guess I didn't see any gender stereotypes in that scene. I wrote it off as more writing silliness, this proclivity in NuTrek to reduce Starfleet professionals to whimpering cowards to create dramatic tension, something I commented about ad nauseam in the Dominion and Surrender threads.
If memory serves, some of the characters who were cowering in those episodes were female, so, I really don't think the writers had any gender stereotypes in mind when they wrote that stuff with the cook and Seven. In my mind you're giving them more credit than they deserve. :-)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
"It was the Borg queen's plan, not the Changeling's. She wasn't fond of being an underling and she hated humans. Her last words sum it up quite nicely."
She didn't just hate humans. Yes, she had an extra special hate for humans, but she hated ALL solids. The Borg are solids. Why would the haughty Changelings EVER agree to be a solid's underlings? Especially a raggedy @$$ late stage AIDS solid's underling?
So many things made no sense.
If jack could be assimilated without passing the Borg STI onto him, why not just assimilate the Changelings directly?
If the Changelings couldn't be assimilated why was Vadic describing Jack's experience with the Borg queen as if she had been assimilated?
How was the Borg queen able to remotely shock(?) Vadic if the Changelings were deliberately preventing themselves from being assimilated by avoiding the transporter?
What was the deal with the hand 2 head ansible?
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
"And I was really getting a "Two tough women, dumb male vibe" from that bridge scene."
I guess I'm not the only one who caught it.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
"Does it justify marysues to replicate the wrongs of history?"
The wrongs of history?! That sounds like it ever stopped. Most movies feature men who haven't earned their place and who "get the girl". The point is that society never came up with demeaning names for men who can do everything or men getting into positions that they didn't earn. It took Marvel 20 movies to have a female super hero. And what an international crisis that was...
Tom Clancy wrote 30 books about men who are mary sues. The entire action movie and tv industry is mostly male mary sues. Nobody every cared until women did the same. Then names like girlboss or mary sue appeared.
Well, I have non desire having another one of those conversations.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
The vfx in TWOK from the "Run Silent, Run Deep" Mutara Nebula sequence to the star fields in the end credits are absolutely beautiful -- ILM did a phenomenal job. For anyone who has not seen this film on the big screen, it truly is a sight to behold.
And since ILM, the same studio who DID do the vfx in Star Wars, also did the vfx here, the fact that they aren't star-warsy shows they had a firm grasp of what Star Trek was all about.
(side note: unless you go back and recomposite the original elements from scratch, these old school optical composite shots don't always look as good on video as they do on film--which is what they were made for & on. It's why in those early video transfers of Star Wars you can see the garbage mattes around the spaceships, which never showed up on screen in the theater.)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:22pm (UTC -5)
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
The Borg queen wanted to annihilate humanity. That's incentive for the Changelings to work with her. At some point she clearly got them to work for her. If humans were able to subjugate them then surely the Borg queen could find a way to get over them.
Obviously there was some kind of connection between Vadic and the Borg queen. This was made evident by the fact that when she cut off her hand they were able to communicate biologically rather than technologically or telepathically.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
1) The casting / acting, and not just the legacy characters. Shaw, Sidney, Vadic, and Jack were cast very well and all the actors were very talented. I don't think there has been any season of NuTrek that has had this level of acting talent. The only mis-step here was keeping Raffi.
2) The VFX. I've mentioned this in a couple of posts already but the VFX was really top tier. VFX has inexplicably been bad in Discovery and Picard to date so it was really nice to see a turnaround.
3) The music. I might actually end up downloading the sound track.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:27pm (UTC -5)
Wasn't thrilled with the Borg being the antagonists, again. That said, this story was well put together. I just would have preferred that the rogue Dominion elements be the bad guys. DS9 needed a little more love here. And I would have liked to see Kira, or Quark, or Jake. In fact, I think I'd have liked to see Jake the writer most. What a perspective he might have had!
While I liked season three of Picard, and it had some very good moments — mostly character moments — I missed not only the occasional grand Picard speech, but even more so, the Picard conversations, where he shined like no other character in the franchise. While truly engaging conversations between characters was the present in TOS and all of the Berman-era, it was best realized in TNG.
Anyway, I'll just say it: I really am not a fan of the proposed Legacy project. Most of Star Trek has taken place in the TNG-era. We have TNG, DS9, Voyager, Picard, Lower Decks, and Prodigy. I really do not want to see anything else in the late 24th and early 25th centuries. (And TNG was my all time favorite!) Then we have Strange New Worlds a century prior. Three shows in the 23rd century era: TOS, Discovery (S1 & 2), and SNW. That's enough of that, honestly. The only things I'd like to see in the past is a proper send-off for Enterprise, maybe Star Trek: Archer, a series of three seasons centered around the Archer presidency with flash backs to the Earth-Romulan War, and the founding of the Federation. And maybe, if we're in the mood for something truly dark, a series about WWIII. Admittedly, that might be hard to pull off.
Ultimately, I think it's time for Star Trek to fully embrace the future, the 32nd Century. With Discovery coming to an end, and the Academy show not being really something I'm interested in, I'd like to see an episodic series set in that era.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
You can like a TV show, you can hate it.
What you cannot do is to insult others because they disagree with you.
Right? Even if you think you are the one only knowing the ultimate Tv truth.
We express our personal opinions here but we are not here to persuade someone to like or dislike a form of art.
And personally I do not find healthy to keep trashing a show you detest in a forum about. "Keep" is the key word here.
To state that you do not like it and why, its ok. To keep doing it though? what exactly is the reason?
IT IS ART, that works different for every person. They are not logical arguments here. Some love it, some cannot stand of it.
I 've gone through this "stage" with Discovery.
I was so happy when I first heard a new Star Trek series will be on our screens again and so so disappointed with the result. I did express this disappointment in various forums, but after a short while, when I realized the show won't change, I stopped watching and I stopped trashing it. And I certainly did not try to demean whoever liked it. Whatever rocks your boat.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:39pm (UTC -5)
I keep going back to the moment of Seven hugging Sydney. That's the kind of drama and humanity Trek always needed, not "drama" in the form of shouting and inflated speeches. I'd love to see this style of interpersonal drama paired with big idea Trek plots.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:40pm (UTC -5)
"First, they are literally prone to exploding. The D several times, but a few others as well. TOS era ships could take extreme amounts of damage and I'm not sure if one ever exploded, short of being deliberately destroyed. "
You know that's just creative license, right? If you want to write off the whole class as somehow broken because of a few TNG episodes, how do you explain the fact they were the centerpiece of EVERY fleet engagement in DS9?
"Second, and related, Starfleet moved to a much more militaristic style not that long after the Galaxy Class debuted. The carpet and kindergartens and all that would very quickly look like some curiosity."
See above comment about DS9. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If you want to go behind the scenes, the tech manual said they were modular designs and lots of space was deliberately left empty for future expansion. I think it's a safe assumption the ships we saw in DS9 did not have kindergartens.
I also kind of resent the focus on this from Internet fandom, at least vis-à-vis
the 'D', see my countless comments about the 5 year mission, crew morale, etc., outlined here and in other threads. :)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Again, so replicating wrongs justifies marysues?
Black Widow is indeed a female superhero on par with Captain America and Hawkeye. If I'm not mistaken, she showed up in 2010, 2 years before the first Avengers movie. Marvel had no need to plug her as the greatest thing in herodom. She stood on her own merit. I don't remember any kind of crisis surrounding her existence.
Now if you are referring to Captain Marvel, need I remind you that both Mantis from Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Wasp, beat her to the big screen without controversy.
Brie Larson, and I love her, but she created the controversy by declaring herself the most powerful Avenger and with a speech directed at middle aged white men.
Let's face it. The comic book industry was mainly directed at a male demographic so, yeah, men were heroes, women were damsles in distress. This played into the male psyche. Men as protectors, women as nuturers and objects of desire. Males dominated the action\fantasy genre, women starred in "chick flicks."
Action movies starred buff men. It wasn't a strange thing to see them kicking butt. All of a sudden 130 pound women are tossing 250 pound men around like ragdolls, immediately handling a lightsaber as if it's a part of their anatomy and generally doing things that make you go hmmm? Naturally males will balk when these things infiltrate the flicks tradionally geared towards them.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
I think I am only now aware that there has been a small hole in my soul ever since Nemesis. It feels restored now.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
I would dispute this premise in his earlier works, e.g., Red October, the male protagonists (and antagonists for that matter) seemed like normal human beings to me, with flaws, fears, and insecurities. Ryan's internal monologue during the gunfight in Red October comes to mind and his reaction afterwards (puking his guts out), it feels real, not action movie cliched.
The movies made changes to the character but kept this aspect. Baldwin plays Ryan as someone unsure of himself and deeply unhappy to be in the situation he's found himself in. Ford brought a different take to the character but never made him unbelievable, you still thought he was a normal human being, not a flawless caricature of All That Is American Man™.
Clancy's later works, yeah, he got very full of himself, and his male protagonists became Too Damned Perfect™. He also inserted his own politics into the works, which, ugh. Nobody wanted to see Ryan as a parody of 1990s/2000s Republican politics, or have real world arguments (abortion, seriously Clancy, you had to go there?) brought into their fictional escapism. Ryan worked best as an apolitical civil servant anyone could root for.
Towards the end, Clancy desperately needed an editor willing to stand up to him. Red October is 387 pages of well paced well written story and every character therein is believable. Executive Orders is 874. The Bear and the Dragon is 1,028. Neither one of those books had enough material to justify that page count and neither one of them had characters worth getting invested in. I got through them but they were slogs and I've never bothered to re-read them. Gave away my copies years ago. By contrast, my hard cover of Red October, that still has a place of honor on the bookshelf that is one of the first things you see when you enter our home. :)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
The season started really strong and, despite a few initial bumps, after episode four and five I was completely hooked. The stakes were high, drama competent and the personal pain carried by many of our heroes real. Coincidentally, that’s also the exact point where the tone and the plot started sliding all over the place, as if somebody was playing a practical joke on me. I honestly feel like the two halves of the season were written by two wholly different teams. Whereas the first half set up the scene for a great pay-off and ended on a tragic yet very heartfelt note, episode six radically shifted the whole tone into a light-hearted adventure and a stroll down memory lane and reduced much of the previously established drama to corridor shoot-outs, action-romps and a myriad of cheap tropes. Even now after the finale, I can’t fathom this sudden drop in quality.
Speaking of quality, if we remove the nostalgia factor and the writing that milked the fact this is the one final hoorah of one of the most legendary crews to grace the TV screen to the extreme, there really isn’t all that much substance past episode five. If this was any other show that had to stand on its own two legs, it wouldn’t be even remotely as appealing as it suffers heavily from all the issues that made recent Trek unwatchable – very weird pacing, disregard for its own internal logic, many loose threads and half-baked ideas that get lost in the frantic, vastly oversimplified and oftentimes senseless plot. The resolution and the closing scenes regarding the Tit… ugh, I mean Enterprise-G, were so insanely on the nose that they were more akin to a sugar high, rather than a bitter-sweet conclusion to a 35 year-long story arc. The nostalgia factor permeating the latter half of the season was so strong that even Jammer told us to ‘shut up’ with the critiques and to just take it in. Now, I am perfectly aware that it was a tongue-in-cheek line that only served to highlight his enjoyment of revisiting things long gone, and I don’t blame him or anyone else for it one bit. I also fell for it, albeit to a somewhat lesser degree. But it also must be said that much of the enjoyment you (we) all so experienced comes from a very different show which, at times, makes Picard’s season three look like little more than a vessel to channel it to 2023. I think it could’ve been so, so much more.
However, and this is a big one, I am still happy it happened. I think that despite the show’s many deep flaws, its heart was in the right place. There were quite a few stand-out scenes that pulled all the right strings and Picard’s journey to fatherhood was both meaningful and touching. But most of all, it brough the crew, both the characters and the actors, back together. I watched a podcast with Frakes a couple of weeks back, and I think they had a blast filming it, which makes me very happy for them. If one makes peace with the fact that the final product was underwhelming in regards to writing, it doesn’t change the fact that they were all happy to come back to the bridge of the Enterprise-D, nor does it change the sentiment behind the whole idea of having them together again. The show knew that, and it showed. And I can appreciate that. It is their enduring camaraderie itself, regardless of the product seen on screen, that makes this a true love letter to that great show of old and a testament to its legacy.
“Will, I… it means so much to me... -You know I know. Always.”
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
not one that wasn't; patently absurd
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Nice cheeky moment where they cut away right before seven utters her "engage" equivalent.
For the record, even if slightly inappropriate, i very much wanted her line to be "fun will now commence", which I personally consider one of the best dialog lines ever written in trek.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
I think Raffi at one point even used the word "ancient".
It launched 37 years earlier...well within Raffi's own lifetime. Would she call herself ancient?
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
I think my sentiment is somewhere between yours and @Sj82's."
Yep...I did not care for this one bit, or any nuTrek at all, but I'll never be the one that says "how could *anyone* like this"?
Think of everything that has ever appeared on the small screen in the history of television, and then note that for every bit of it, somebody somewhere liked that. Probably a great many somebodies in a great many somewheres.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:33pm (UTC -5)
Give me a break. I remember two movies
Here a few highlights
In Hunt for red October:
He jumps out of a helicopter, kills the secret Russian agent and drives the fricking Soviet super submarine at the end.
The other one I saw was "the sum of all fears" in which he survives an A bomb explosion and stops world war 3 by personally convincing the Russian president to stand down. Just your average Joe. :D
Ok, enough off topic. ;)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
It would have been really cool if they started the episode with "previously on Star Trek", play the clips from Endgame, and then follow it with a 10 minute flashback scene showing the deterioration of the Borg over time and how they eventually linked up with the Changlings. "
Could have been instead of all the superfluous Big Giant Head scenes.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
This stands in contrast to season 1 - where nearly as soon as she was introduced, she had a sorta ex-girlfriend villain, got in a catfight with Narissa, and meshed hands with Raffi. Or Season 2, where she played up the lesbian angle to flirt with some men for access and wore a pretty nice dress to the gala.
Honestly, the treatment of her character this season was no different than how DS9 treated Kira, which I generally take as the standard for good writing of female characters in Trek.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
I was terrified they'd do a Nu-Trek job and kill off Picard, or Riker, or blow up the Enterprise D, or something like that. I'm so so SO glad they didn't. I think they did as well as we could reasonably expect. And it was bloody good to see all those characters together again. They treated them (and the ship) with enormous respect.
Not 100% on the Q thing, although it was a nice surprise. In a way, getting Data back (which was great) completely negated Season 1, and getting Q back completely negated Season 2. But then the titles, and the way this was named as "Star Trek Picard Part 1 - 10" told me they wanted to almost pretend S1 and S2 didn't exist.
So I'm happy.
I would disagree with one thing people have said. I LOVED Vadic. I thought she was acted brilliantly, genuinely evil and utterly twisted, and was one of the best villains Star Trek ever produced.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
My initial reaction was a slightly underwhelmed 2 to 2.5, but after a day and a rewatch, my feelings are more positive.
I've seen some cynics predicting that this season will age poorly, and people won't remember it fondly, but I don't know. It certainly wasn't as strong in the second half as it was in the first, and it was stuffed with memberberries and contrivances, but...this season has something about it. Maybe it's as simple as love, for both the world and the characters.
I'll be interested to discover how ill feel in a week or a month, but for now: good job, Terry et al. It was fun.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
"I guess I didn't see any gender stereotypes in that scene. I wrote it off as more writing silliness, this proclivity in NuTrek to reduce Starfleet professionals to whimpering cowards to create dramatic tension, something I commented about ad nauseam in the Dominion and Surrender threads."
I don't see anything anti-male in Nu Trek. All too often, the writers turn both men and women into emo teens.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:49pm (UTC -5)
If your main take away from Red October was "He jumps out of a helicopter, kills the secret Russian agent and drives the fricking Soviet super submarine at the end " I think you need to go back and re-watch the movie with an open mind.
Also, read the book, your original comment was about Clancy and I will stand by my comments that his earlier works -- in particular Red October -- were well written engaging pieces of art. The dude created an entirely new genre of writing, the techno-thriller, you can't dismiss ALL of his work as bad.
Also, "Sum of All Fears" the movie had as much in common with the book as World War Z had with its novel progenitor. It shared the title and absolutely nothing else. It wasn't my favorite book in the Ryanverse, the issues with Clancy's later work that I discuss above started to creep in around this time, but it was WAY better than that trash film adaption.
Regardless, I stand by my sentiment that Red October was an excellent book, and I think one of the best movie adaptations of a book I've ever seen. Jurassic Park comes close, although a lot of characters got changed between the book and the movie. In Red October they're all essentially the same and most of what's missing from the movie are things that would not translate from a novel into a screen play.
The final battle is Pure Hollywood Fantasy™, talk to any bubblehead, so feel free to fault the movie for that, but again, concession to the format. Real submarine battles take HOURS and during most of that time nothing happens. It's written realistically in the novel but it would be almost impossible to translate that into a screen play that would keep even the most committed realist engaged.
Also, to make this mildly topical, Red October was filmed on sets built on gimbals that moved as the subs were moving during the script. Those diving and surfacing scenes are real, the whole sets move, it's not camera movement or framing. The sets were nearly as claustrophobic as a real sub and many of the actors (Scott Glenn) did a "tour" on a real sub with actual Naval Officers coaching them on how to play the part, issue orders, etc. It was all shot with model photography and actual submarines in certain scenes (the emergency surface of Dallas and the helicopter rendezvous), no CGI, and it looks damn good even today.
Finally, fun fact, models for Red October appeared in Best of Both Worlds, as the drones for the Mars Defense Perimeter, that the cube effortlessly swats aside on its way to Earth. That five or six second shot took DAYS to produce. Today it would be done in CGI and there'd be so much going on in the frame you'd have no idea what to focus on. :)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Saru can't get a reading. Burnham bumps him out of the way with her hip and gets the reading a second later.
She is the most uniquely qualified of anyone else on the ship at anything
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 3:55pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
In the Prime Universe anyways. Intendant Kira is another story.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:17pm (UTC -5)
I think "Das Boot" is the far superior submarine movie. ;)
I love how Martin Semmelrogge says:"Probe Alarm, hehehe"
But enough about Clancy shmanzy and whatnot.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:23pm (UTC -5)
"how do you explain the fact they were the centerpiece of EVERY fleet engagement in DS9?"
Because they wanted to burn through the stock of them ;)
But I mean, come on, I always took the Galaxy Class exploding if you just sneeze at the warp core as tongue in cheek. I'm sure the real reason is that the studio just got good at doing ship explosions.
Still, in universe, the evidence is pretty conclusive they abandoned the design and were moving to much more battle oriented ships. They were in this transition during and perhaps before (the Defiant) the Dominion War. In the middle of a war like that, they are going to mass produce whatever they can, and that included the Galaxy Class.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
I think what I really dislike is more the modern TV format of hugely extended films. I find that you simply can't keep a coherent story going for 10 hours (or 500 pages, this also applies to books). I particularly dislike it when suspense and mystery is built up over such a long period, as you can never resolve it satisfactorily and you inevitably end up with many loose ends and much which ends up irrelevant (e.g. changelings) as an inherent side effect of misdirection over an extended amount of time.
The writers of this genre seem to want to show off how clever they are, having many complex threads which they all manage to pull together in the end. Unfortunately it very rarely works.
I think it started to become popular with the likes of Lost, and then when "binge watching" became normal where people are more interested in having many hours of their life filled than enjoying an actual story. A well told story lasts only as long as needed, is focused, and is well-paced with moments where suspense builds followed by resolution (or at least, the stories I like!).
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
I will agree though that, among all the massive plot holes, this one isn't the worse.
@Booming I think the term "Mary Sue" may not be appropriate here. Being perfect isn't enough to qualify as such: A character is only a Mary Sue when it is inserted into a preexisting universe and proceeds to surpass and obsess preexisting characters. Tom Clancy creating male fantasy stereotypes in his own original books doesn't qualify. I think this point is pretty key to fairly analyze the backlash against some new characters inserted into modern franchises (which, of course, doesn't deny the rampant sexism).
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Not exactly a Galaxy class design flaw.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:06pm (UTC -5)
Meanwhile you look at the comment section, and about half the people here are saying things like, "insulting," "appalling," "worst of all Trek," "memberberries," "mystery box," "contrived," "forced" and "nostalgia-bait."
I think it's time Jammer shuts down the comment section. It had a good run.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:10pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
I throughly dispute the premise that there's a shred of evidence, much less conclusive evidence, that they abandoned the design.
I further dispute the premise that the Galaxy wasn't fully capable of combat and with the probable exception of the Sovereign (which we never saw in DS9 because she was reserved to the TNG movies for dramatic reasons) the most powerful ship in the fleet.
Nog and Jake used the Galaxy Class as a metric of power as late as Season 6 of DS9. Not the Defiant with whom they were both intimately familiar. The Galaxy. They were the centerpiece of DS9's war fleets.
It was a Galaxy the producers very deliberately chose to blow up to impress upon the audience how powerful the Dominion was in their introduction. Starfleet sent their best and their best wasn't good enough.
It was and will forever be in my mind the flagship of Starfleet in the TNG/DS9/VOY era. This is, incidentally, the exact way it was envisioned. It was supposed to be the Federation's equivalent of an American supercarrier. Comparatively rare, extremely powerful, and as much about symbolism as raw power, when one of these shows up you know the Federation is sending their very best in terms of technology and people.
There are not words sufficient to explain my distaste with modern fandom's obsession with hyper-militarizing Starfleet, dumping on TNG for not being militarized, retconning TNG as some sort of naive peacenik nonsense (did the folks who do this watch any of the TNG Romulan episodes?), and dumping on the Galaxy Class just because she had creature comforts you'd need on a multi-year mission. Defiant is uncomfortable and cramped, she MUST be better! 🙄
(And I like the Defiant, FYI, this isn't hate on her, she just had a totally different purpose and mission than the Galaxy. I view her as the equivalent of a coastal defense submarine, while the Galaxy is a fleet boat meant for long distance and duration missions.)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:12pm (UTC -5)
We can surely argue about definitions but I guess you agree that we could find an infinite number of male "mary sue" characters long before female ones appeared but until that happened, nobody ever thought of finding an insult for that kind of character. It's the same with girlboss. That's all I meant. ;)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
I'm absolutely NOT in favor of hyper militarizing Starfleet, nor am I dumping on TNG. I despised the move and greatly disliked the E, and happy it was relegated to a punch line.
I've argued before about stuff related to that on here, for example,
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:27pm (UTC -5)
"I think it's time Jammer shuts down the comment section. It had a good run."
So, censor everybody because you can't scroll past comments you don't like?
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
Well, I would never claim that Red October is better than Das Boot, or compare it against any other submarine movie, I just think it's a really well made movie and as novel to screen play adaptations go it's one of the best.
Jurassic Park came close, I only ding it slightly because Spielberg fundamentally changed some of the characters. His changes were probably for the best, to gain acceptance for a broader audience, but it was still jarring having read the novel prior to seeing the movie.
The Godfather deserves a mention too, probably tied with or perhaps slightly ahead of Red October on my list of good novel adaptations. I can't recall any changes in characters from the novel, though some backstory got cut out. More than you'd expect with the film reaching three hours of run time!
Also, there's no rule here that I'm aware of mandating that we stay on any particular topic, the only thing I see that might be problematic discussing Red October and Godfather is a prohibition against spoilers for other productions. If I have spoiled these decades old movies for anyone I apologize, lol, although I kind of assume that ship sailed long ago. :)
Regardless, if you no longer want to engage on the topic that's fine, but I don't think either of us owes any apologies for a detour into another production. This community has above average commentary and critical insight into TV and movies, so, I think the other folks here will probably forgive us for the detour. :D
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
"Tim, wtf? Did they not stop making the Galaxy Class and now consider the D antique?"
As others have said they are still seen in the fleets here, which I'll confess I missed, reinforcing my one of my complaints about the ctrl + v fleets: There's too damned much in a single frame to focus on anything!
I did catch at least one in the fleet at the end of S2.
So, no, they are still in service. The 'D' is presumably an 'antique' because she didn't get the benefit of upgrades as her sisters still in service would have. Also because the writers are lazy and needed to make sure the audience was sufficiently astonished by what they were seeing. :D
Whether they are still in production or not, who knows, and who cares? Point is they were built for 100 year service lives and in the real world we've got capital ships older than a Galaxy would be in this production. TNG and DS9 had more Excelsiors than I can count and that design was, what, 70-80 years old by then?
"I'm absolutely NOT in favor of hyper militarizing Starfleet, nor am I dumping on TNG."
I should have been clearer that I was not attributing that to you. I apologize if it came across that way. It is distressingly common in other online communities devoted to Trek. That's what I was lamenting.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
I would leave college parties early on Saturday night to get home by 11:30pm to watch 3 full TOS episodes.
Nothing about this PIC series evokes any of that.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
In fairness, Nana Visitor seemed to have a boatload of fun playing that character. If she felt objectified you wouldn't know it by her performance.
I kinda miss that mirror universe tbh, where it wasn't taken very seriously and was just an excuse for the cast to act out a different role than they usually would. Andrew Robinson really hammed it up too, totally over the top, as the mirror universe is supposed to be. Michael Dorn did the same. Just great turn your brain off and roll with it TV.
Discovery had to treat it seriously and it totally tanked, IMHO, probably because it was Yet Another Twist™ largely devoid of any meaning except pulling the wool over the audience's eyes.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
The Galaxy-class lookalikes are actually ships of the Ross-class.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Jammer prefers it if we keep it about Trek (or the other shows). ;)
By the way, you forgot the best adapted novel(s). Lord of the Rings.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
Pay better attention. Jack's brain had been rewired by the organic Borg-tech passed on from his father FROM BIRTH, to act as an organic transmitter. His rationality was compromised at the genetic level from conception. He is exactly like Odo unable to resist the pull to the Omarion Nebula. It's sci-fi, but it ain't rocket science.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
I only (grudgingly) make it through the extended cuts because that's my partner's once a year ritual and she humors my same ritual with Harry Potter. It's good filmmaking, FWIW, I deeply appreciate the art aspect of it, practical effects, and all that jazz, they're just not my genre despite all my other Geekdom obsessions. Thankfully it's an "okay if you play with your phone" movie event for us. We have other entertainment where there's a strictly enforced "no phone" rule!
I'll take your word for them being a good adaptation. There's certainly enough runtime in the darned movies that I hope Peter Jackson didn't leave a lot on the cutting room floor. :D
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:08pm (UTC -5)
"I should have been clearer that I was not attributing that to you. I apologize if it came across that way. It is distressingly common in other online communities devoted to Trek. That's what I was lamenting."
Yeah, no biggie. I got a tad upset and should have waited a bit before posting because I see it could look like I was attacking the D.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
When you scrap away the delectable, gooey nostalgia icing, the shortfalls are glaringly obvious. There are very, very few comments that don't acknowledge these shortcomings, but those singing the season's praises appear to dismiss them, to varying degrees.
I can only speak for myself, but when there *are* a hundred plot holes that only become more egregious with each passing episode, or quippy dialogue that makes my skin crawl - or just bad dialogue period - it registers.
That the good this season produces is associated with the sort of bad that would see it eviscerated under different circumstances is precisely what vexes me. Every moment that worked was followed by something that didn't. That this could easily have been a satisfying experience across the board and not just a one-note dopamine hit of nostalgic callbacks is what made it all the more frustrating - the glimmers of decent writing in those quieter moments that crept in before the writers had to reorientate back to something daft to kick the mystery box can along.
Was I at fault for daring to wish for all that tasty nostalgia attached to a genuinely compelling, competent story with writing that had some substance to it?
The appreciation of art is a subjective one, but there are some standard metrics by which we agree to evaluate it. I acknowledge nostalgia / fan service / member-berry /whatever the hell you want to call it is a valid, contributing factor. I don't think those of us offside with popular sentiment possess a bias so rigid that we're impossible to please. I simply think the nostalgia icing should be just that - icing on the cake.
Perhaps the fault is mine for evaluating it as I would any other season of Trek. This is unapologetic, relentless fan service in support of a send-off to a beloved cast. Perhaps I shouldn't be holding it to the same standards.
Anyway, food for thought. I do enjoy reading opposing viewpoints and am not entirely immovable. I take on board what others have to say, for what it's worth.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
I assumed this was covered in some comic or video game I never saw, but apparently not? If it was I can find nothing online about it!
E wasn’t my favorite Enterprise, probably the third after D and the OG (no bloody A, B, C, or D….) as envisioned in SNW, but still, would have been sweet to see her represented here. Sweeter still if they had taken the chance to give Shelby more than a redshirt death and used that to take ole E off the board!
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:02pm (UTC -5)
It still comes in for criticism even if you view it as unapologetic fan service in support of a well deserved send off for a beloved cast!
At least half the runtime had nothing to do with that beloved cast. Some of that appeared good, like Shaw, but was later undermined by the conceits (proclivity for cheap character deaths) of NuTrek. Too much runtime wasted on the mystery box and the Changeling story.
Like I said, make it a four hour movie. Delete the Changeling stuff. Vadic could stay as a bounty hunter after Jack, if you need that in to kickstart the story, but she’s human and her role ends much sooner than it did here. Ditto Shaw/Seven and the Titan. Jump into the Borg stuff earlier. Tell some of Geordi and Worf’s backstory (rest of the cast got fairer treatment here).
This isn’t TERRIBLE, it could just be so much better! All the pieces were there.
At least the fan service stuff was done right. I teared up a bit learning they did the card game organically with the actors “playing” themselves.
It’s pretty amazing actually, all these years later, and they remain very good friends in the real world. How often does that happen in Hollywood? No drama, no personality conflicts, no egos taking center stage, no Hollywood wedding followed by Hollywood divorce, just a bunch of professionals who helped create something amazing and become lifelong friends in the process.
I will miss them!
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
In good-faith, what are some standard metrics by which we “agree to evaluate art”? I am open to the idea that standards exist-I am just not sure universal agreement can be ordered to exist on what these factors *are*. I am one of those people who enjoyed this season immensely, while behind fully cognizant of (and hugely disappointed by) the numerous flaws, plot holes, red herrings, and dead ends. I think the season overall is a thre-star season; had these defects been less prevalent, my rating would have been higher. The flaws have been sky-high well-documented by posters who did not like the show assertions by people who did like the show as to why they did so have not been absent. Many have I suspect been reactions to vituperative commentary that has gotten ugly and personal. I would not equate quantity of criticism with quality, but that is just me. It is human nature to note what what one has done wrong, more than what one has done right (if this is not a truism, it is nonetheless an observation that can’t be easily dismissed out of hand). Two reasons why measuring artistic quality with a formula can be diffIcult: 1) not everyone goes into “art” looking for the same exact thing. If I went to the movie “Gods and Generals” because I enjoyed Civil War re-enactments, and my sole criterion for whether the movie was good was whether it faithfully re-created battle scenes, I am not “looking” for the same thing as someone who wants historical melodrama (Gone With The Wind), or gothic romance (“The Beguiled.”). Which desires are born of greater concern for “art” than the others? Perhaps none, provided we admit what we were looking for when we criticize something. Unspoken biases are what make so much criticism come off as disingenuous (speaking one’s biases does not cloak one in nobility either, though. At least two commenters here are telling everyone else we are objectively misreading the show, that the only legItimate criteria are whether the show is too misogynistic. These commenters brook no dissent from their views; to have them is proof that the views are objectively correct. Nothing kills debate so much as telling someone before the debate starts, someone about whom you know nothing, that he or she cannot participate because you are not debating using their preferred Marquis of Queensberry terms-terms which rig the outcome in their favor anyway). Is an exercise in nostalgia less a worthy artistic endeavor than a storyline that a movie viewer cannot easily call to mind? Take (please) “Inception.” I would say many would call its premise to be something that they had not encountered before. “Original,” in that sense. This quality does not make something inherently good or bad. Many found Inception enjoyable, many others found it numbinglt boring. Would agreeing on metrics by which we should evaluate art yield an answer as to who is right and who is wrong? I don’t think so, which makes me wonder what coming up with “standard metrics” would accomplish, exactly. Settle debates as to whether a Watteau painting is inherently more beautiful than a Gainsborough? What, exactly? The second concern, related to the first, is that in evaluating something, people inevitably look at whether the level of ambition is in proportion with the level of achievement, and they have every right to. If a creator’s ambition was to create fast food on the screen, it is fair to ask how well the meal came out. I’d the creator intended a chef d’ouevre, was what came out a masterpiece? Wanting to create fast food is no more or less noble a goal than wanting to create a gourmet feast. How good is the end-product for what it set out to be? I consider that to be a legitimate basis for criticism. I’m not so sure standard metrics would,.
Thanks for the excellent and thought-provoking commentary!
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
I mean, not the episode itself obviously, it's amazing, but the shadow it's cast across basically the whole franchise, equal only to the shadow of The Wrath of Khan. It seems that for the past few decades Star Trek has been desperate to reclaim the feeling of that episode, and so insecure about not being taken as seriously as "The Best of Both Worlds, part I". But none of them really got why The Best of Both Worlds was what it was. Why it shocked the fans that watched it, and was actually something normal people talked about around the preverbal water cooler.
The Best of Both Worlds works because of the context of it's position in the show at the time. It works because for three seasons we had nice comfortable adventures on a bright and cozy starship. A starship that was a home as much as it was a science vessel or battlecruiser. It was a comfortable place where a found family always went away together at the end of the episode. But in The Best of Both Worlds that all gets violated. The Borg don't just attack the ship they invade it - they're on the bridge, on the carpets and they're RIGHT THERE kidnapping Picard. And by the end of the episode he stays kidnapped - maybe even gone forever. SHIT GOT REAL IN STAR TREK. That simply doesn't work as well as it does without that 3 seasons of comfortable set-up, it's like if season 3 of FRIENDS ended with someone walking into Central Perk and shooting Gunther in the face. Or worse because no one cared about Gunther. I don't know, Ross? Did people care about Ross?
TNG for it's credit never tried to ride on it's glory. It built on it a few times, like with "I, Borg", and when the Borg eventually did return it wasn't trying to retread that episode. Decent isn't bad, because it's a Best of Both Worlds knock off, it's bad for other reasons. It's not until Star Trek: First Contact that they go back to that well and they - shockingly - manage to pull it off. Not quite as successfully, but they do. And again it works for basically the same reasons that The Best of Both Worlds did. First Contact followed Generations, which in many ways feels like an extended episode of the show. Because of that First Contact gets to have shit get real again - with a new Enterprise and darker uniforms and it's all very adult and serious... mostly. It doesn't quite pack the same punch - mostly because as a film it has to have a nice satisfying ending - but it does work. And instead of just yelling at the audience asking them if they remember The Best of Both Worlds and trying to steal it's thunder, it at least builds on it's ideas by ending Picard's arc with the Borg and somewhat moving on from his trauma.
Voyager of course tries to get on the Best of Both Worlds wagon with Scorpion, but by then there was no point. The Borg were no longer the alien and invasive element they were in TNG, they had become the cozy, comfortable villain.
And then we get to Picard. Picard is desperate to feel like The Best of Both Worlds. It can't escape from it. It wants the glory that episode had but really doesn't want to do the work to find out how to do it properly. The first two seasons just waved the Borg around in a desperate attempt to get us to feel something, but had the same problem Voyager had - the Borg just aren't that threatening any more. But Season 3 almost feels more pathetic, as it's so obviously trying to cargo cult it's way into being Big Important and Notable Star Trek.
Picard's version of Starfleet and starships aren't safe and cozy places, they're Very Serious And Gritty places where there are spies and ilfiltrators everywhere! The Starships are all dark and moody now! Captains are assholes*! But then you don't get that same effect. It's not shocking or invasive when The Borg invade all of the woke youth in Starfleet because just like 5 minutes ago Starfleet was already being invaded by Changelings! It's not shocking when the villains invade the bridge because it doesn't look like your home, it looks like a place where action scenes happen. And Picard makes this worse by being so fucking insecure about being taken seriously that they try to "improve" things by making it more "adult". Oh, you liked The Best of Both Worlds??? Well guess what idiots, we've just made it BETTER because we've done basically the same stuff except now the crew say "FUCK". Oh did you want to watch First Contact? No need! Watch this version of it but with ~QUIPS~ and ~WINKS TO THE AUDIENCE~. We know you love it! And when it's not desperately trying to be The Best of Both Worlds it's desperately trying to be The Wrath of Khan. There's no reason why so much of this episode aped that film other than trying to conjure some feeling of being good by association.
It all comes across like a child wearing adult clothes to pretend to be older. It's just basic imitation with no understanding of what made the original work.
And that's not even counting the other bizarre elements of this season, like the weird fear of the youth, the whole show being about 4 hours too long, spending multiple multiple episodes teasing and building up one set of villains only to instantly forget about them and replace them with another, literally why the fuck Raffi is in this show, PICARD'S BORG CUM??????????????
And DAMN YOU Terry Matalas for taking one of the best ending scenes to a show ever (in my opinion), ripping it off and then PUTTING YOUR NAME ON IT.
Thinking back to it, The Borg episode of Enterprise was actually pretty good because it stripped the Borg back to their basic elements, it's a shame no one took any lessons from it.
*until it's revealed at the end that he was nice the whole time
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:03pm (UTC -5)
"This is the equivalent of Stockholm syndrome of TV. People think they like this when we are actually being fed trash."
If true, why ever didn't Paramount pull this with Nemesis, Enterprise and most of NuTrek for viewers like me?
Presumably, Stockholm Syndrome viewers are being forced to watch, in this streaming world of thousands of programs at any moment.
I personally lean more towards Occam's razor, that a whole lot of fans were delighted at a very good, character focused reunion of the beloved crew of a beloved show.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
The new Enterprise, couldn’t they have brought back the Enterprise E! Like at the end of Star Trek: The Voyage Home. It would have been nice to have seen Admiral Picard see the E as the surprise at the end when he and Beverly were dropping off Jack. That would have given more emotional weight with the classic Enterprise music than the Titan.
And Admiral Janeway would have been a nice touch if they were going to send Seven off on a voyage.
This should have been Season 1 of Picard (perhaps called Star Trek Legacy in the first place). If the TNG/Voyager/DS9/First Contact writers had been given this show, I reckon we’d have got a perfected version of this. The way Data was restored was excellent and more in keeping with the movies.
The Changelings conspiracy doesn’t quite feel like it was fully explained overall.
I personally wish we got the Enterprise E back in the last episode, but I get the use of the Enterprise D too. Though perhaps a missed opportunity to use the old Voyager as well. I would have loved it if the new Enterprise was a restored Enterprise E again personally,
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:12pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:27pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:29pm (UTC -5)
So many topics to write some inspirational science fiction about while mixing in impactful character development.
Alas, beating up on a half-dead Borg queen (yet again!) and blowing up the Death Star Cube (again!!!) was the best they could drum up because, what? That's what sells? That's how nostalgia works? Because putting comic book fantasy escapism to IRL film is what it's all about these days, creatively? Is this... all that I am? Is there nothing more?
When I met Bryan Fuller in 2016, I shook his hand and said "I really hope Star Trek Discovery will have something to say." And he answered earnestly with an "It will!" I felt hopeful that something great was indeed on the horizon with this newest Trek TV rebirth. But as some have observed, the 2017-present efforts haven't really been very strong, have they? Oh well. :(
But they definitely earned the OMG OMG OMG Twitter, TikTok and YouTuber reactions they were gunning for, it would appear.
Keep it. It's not for me. If you dig it, enjoy! I'll be over here hoping another producer comes along one day and says, let's really have something to say with the voice of Star Trek again! Episode 3 and 4 of this season just about got there (maybe it's something to build off of, as Kurtzman and co lurch onward?). But as for the rest of this series... Oh well. :(
Until (IF?) a fresh new day for this franchise dawns, we likely won't cross paths again. Thanks for keeping this space open and honest. I enjoyed reading ALL the commentary. Be good to each other and stay well. Dream big. Don't settle. And Jammer, keep doing what you do man, forever! We love ya.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:47pm (UTC -5)
I assume everyone posting here is in the 30-50 year old range, right? Mostly adults who watched the original series as kids/teens. The fact that a bunch of 30-40+ year olds don't realize what they're doing is absurd.
Fri, Apr 21, 2023, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 1:22am (UTC -5)
Also big points for the queen's look here-- definitely striking, interesting, and memorable. Words that don't often apply to the borg in the last couple decades.
Still don't think the actual big borg plan held a lot of water, but they nailed it in terms of landing the explanation of jack's mystery (which I expected to disappoint). A week on and it really just makes sense on that front (even if I'm squishy on how/why jack was needed for this magic assimilation plan). Big props to the season for making a borg reveal both something unexpected but also totally logical and an explanation that fit so well.
Best season since DS9 7, even if that is faint praise...
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 1:22am (UTC -5)
NOT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO RELAX, OK??!
NOT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO RELAX!!!
Lol. Not a great joke, but maybe a small tad funny ;)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 4:35am (UTC -5)
It's totally a wasted financial opportunity if they don't.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 4:43am (UTC -5)
Never the less, great episode!
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 5:08am (UTC -5)
The poker scene at the end was lovely though. I could have watched ten hours of that.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 5:26am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 5:27am (UTC -5)
Thank you for your insightful writing, and for giving us a place to meet on the internet. Everyone needs a site like this to go to.
Although people are referencing the Millennium Falcon tactical maneuvering, I actually thought this has *always* been a big missing piece of Data's character. They never really to let him show off, especially when he should. I can think of many of examples where super speed or strength, along with his intellect would have resolved quite a few plots! Data does seem like he is written by a real fan, and I was glad to see him function like the Data I knew and loved.
The Data-Troi scene was icing on the cake! My two favorite characters actually having a down to earth, well-written scene. I'm enjoying this rich chocolate icing!
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 6:24am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 6:37am (UTC -5)
Meanwhile you look at the comment section, and about half the people here are saying things like, "insulting," "appalling," "worst of all Trek," "memberberries," "mystery box," "contrived," "forced" and "nostalgia-bait.’”
It would be fun to see a demographics breakdown of the comments. We can hypothesize the more positive reviews come from the 40+ age bracket as that is the group who was exposed to TNG during its original run.
Speaking of repetitive verbiage, every year, Lake Superior State University releases a list of words that should be banished from our vocabulary for misuse, overuse, uselessness. Among this year’s entries, phrases like “GOAT”, “Gaslighting”, and “it is what it is” made the list.
I sincerely hope that memberberries makes next year’s list. Unless it’s repurposed in a more colorful context, like “She kicked me right in the memberberries!”
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 6:42am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 7:08am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 7:13am (UTC -5)
Am I the only one who thinks the last episode could have easily been an awesome three-parter?
Threesome. Enough said.
It seems odd to rush it at this point after burning through changeling plots (that TNG never owned and never should have messed with). That's some cheap feels, as they say.
I really liked all of the acting a lot in this episode, including Counselor Troi / Sirtis, who I have absolutely loved and could always relate to. Stewart seemed very awake and at the top of his game. I was kind of stunned at how good the acting was. My only real problem with the cast was that too much was put on Beverly, but we know she can do it. Still, I would argue that if you are going for a classic TNG vibe, the doctor is not on the bridge firing torpedoes. I suppose I will always prefer the scientific resolutions of Data and Geordi.
Far too little attention was given to Seven of Nine, a strong and beloved character who captured my heart on Voyager; she turned out to be so much more than a pair of boobs (thank God!). It just seemed like they did not know what to do with Seven here, and with a Borg script! Jeri Ryan deserved better!
I'm probably going to be the odd one out, but I was not fond of the bar and I don't think most of the scenes worked. I have been waiting for Whoopi Goldberg to show up, that would have been the final favorite character for me.
I think Metallis understood that for these last two episodes to work, the pacing had to work. This brings me back to my point about only having two days left of shooting for the Big D. As I compared it to Star Wars' failure to reunite Han, Luke and Leia, this was definitely a failure of production to only have the original set for TWO days. They could have rented it from a fan, as has been done previously. The Enterprise has always been a character all her own throughout the history of Star Trek. I suspect that this two-day story was contrived to apologize for all the nonsense that came beforehand.
When Picard held up the ace of spades, the death card, I thought it was going to signify something really fucked up happening, like Q or a changeling or something. But then it turned out to be a deck of cards. I just thought there was a real oversight in that presentation. Terry probably didn't have time to notice that, but it really threw me and made the ending unnecessarily bumpy. Perhaps I'm the only one who had that reaction?
The least believable part of the episode was Raffi on board the Enterprise as Number One. That just reeks of more of the girl power Disney narrative. Raffi was always presented as having problems with drugs and authority. Not exactly first officer material. I guess another Mary Sue Trek is in production to replace Archangel Michael. I hope Paramount's stock sees similar results as Disney's. I'll be giving that scene the same treatment I give Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and a few other shows - I decide when to properly end it, because the showrunners weren't able to.
This was made under a stupid, uncreative political regime that clearly doesn't think we can tell the difference between shameless propaganda and entertainment. For Terry to make something like this under those conditions is a success, and I thank him. Did it do what I really hoped? Did it give me that feeling of security that TNG did? Did it present those old beloved characters with respect, as people I would be honored to know? Yes it did that.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 7:39am (UTC -5)
7 of 9: goes on to have the most popular onlyaliens account of people over 50
Riker and Troi: get remarried and have a second honeymoon on Raisa. Worf is their “security detail.”
Jack Crusher: is killed by his own bridge crew for having too many close-up wily grin shots. Wesley is promoted to Son #1 again.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 7:53am (UTC -5)
They don't give a shit about DS9. They just use bits they feel like, without reverence, and discard.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:05am (UTC -5)
It's challenging to have a successful callback to a bright beige environment, where logic, science, diplomacy and hard work are the rule of the day. The clarity that science brings is in many ways symbolized by the brightly lit bridge. (From a director's perspective, it also brings in an enormous pallet of subtle facial expressions and body language that is hidden in a poorly lit set.)
But with officers working mostly in the dark, it canceled that call back for me, at least. It was an almost unconscious effect, but now that I see it it's very obvious. And it interfered with a lot of nostalgia for me, anyone else?
Also, as a long time fan in my mid-50s, it's actually kind of hard to schedule time to watch the show in the middle of the night. I tend to be asleep before sundown.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:36am (UTC -5)
"The need for connection to others and what the lack of it can do to you."
Great point. I think this is why I have always found so many Star Trek characters to be relatable. Like Seven, Odo, Data, Worf, Spock... They are all mostly loners, and not necessarily by choice. I know all about that.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 10:02am (UTC -5)
This season of Picard is not even close to those earlier shows. The acting is good - I have said this - as is the production quality. But on close examination, there is rarely anything patient, thoughtful, earned, or sublime. There were episodes of TNG where I felt I had witnessed something real of human drama, that I came away from episodes having learned something about myself: those experiences were as rich as reading the finest literature. That is the ideal to which I hold Star Trek - and what I see here is only a faint shadow of what we had before. When I cited Succession and Better Call Saul - even if these shows are not science fiction or are about a completely different scenario - those shows still have a lot in common with DS9 and TNG: they speak about real life, they are not glazed in artifice, and their characters and stories demand our attention, intelligence, empathy, and respect.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Beverly could have struggled to manage the books, while Seven and Raffi ploughed the north forty before the lenders foreclosed.
Worf and Riker could have crushed grapes under foot in the morning while discussing the old days. Troi, Geordi and the kids would periodically bring them bushel baskets heaping with newly picked fruit.
Each episode could end with the whole cast sipping wine before the chateau's main hearth, while Picard quotes from Marcus Aurelius.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 11:23am (UTC -5)
I don't feel any reason to write 1000 words essay of "facts" about how great it was (or wasn't).. It was a great final farewell to the TNG cast. And it once again makes me wish they didnt waste S1-2 on rather mediocre trek (didn't quite reach the depths of DSC at a least.
Just a few quick points:
- Jeri Ryan really can act and has plenty of gravitas. She could easily carry a new show.
- It's strange how painful I found spacedock being practically destroyed.
- I actually thought they have Picard and Son sacrifice themselves to save everyone - but that probably would have been too depressing.
- Personally I'm still rather "meh" on Raffi but at least she isn't completely intolerable.
- They ignored/retconned so much of s1-2 that it almost might as well be removed from cannon.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 11:51am (UTC -5)
3.5 stars. "
S1 and S2 of Picard are like S9 of Dallas.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
I'm not sure why age is relevant, some of us are over 50. I don't think any of us are unconscious, either.
I do not require Shakespeare, what I require is that the audience knows that care has been taken in the work and presentation.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 12:13pm (UTC -5)
"Jeri Ryan really can act and has plenty of gravitas. She could easily carry a new show."
They've left the way open for it with the post credit scene so maybe it might happen.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 12:41pm (UTC -5)
- This is the best season in NuTrek and I don’t think it’s close.
- Terri Matalas did a great job given the insane time constraints. I would love to see what he can do with a season of Trek with a normal production schedule.
- The scene where the crew members step onto the D in the final minutes of Vox was amazing and the best scene in the season by far.
- This was a great sendoff for the Enterprise D. I always hated how she was destroyed in Generations in the dumbest way imaginable. Dealing a death blow to the Borg and getting retired in a museum was great closure for the greatest ship in Star Trek.
- This was a great send off for the TNG crew and is really what Nemesis should have been. In many ways this was an extended TNG movie that righted the wrongs of previous TNG movies.
- The best movies have a compelling and believable villain and this was a big mis-step of the season. They did an OK job with the Borg Queen but I would have liked more of her backstory. Vadic’s backstory was not very well done. They also did a terrible job explaining how and why Vadic and the Borg Queen became allies which is a huge plot hole. I get that this season was focused on the TNG crew, but the villains should also stand out their own as characters and not just be foils for the heroes.
- I like the idea of the rouge changlings and the Borg Queen being the main villains of the season but there was a huge missed opportunity here. They could have added to the worldbuilding and Trek canon in a meaningful way by using these characters to expand in detail on the aftermath of the Dominion War and Voyager’s return to the alpha quadrant in an epic blending of TNG, DS9 and VOY plot points that makes people want to go back and re-watch DS9/VOY. They did this to some degree but I wanted more.
- Star Trek Legacy could be worth watching. Jeri Ryan is more than capable of leading a series. Sidney and Jack are good characters as well. Not a fan of Raffi as first officer though.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
I would also not mind Jeri Ryan in a successor serie.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 2:52pm (UTC -5)
"In good-faith, what are some standard metrics by which we “agree to evaluate art”? I am open to the idea that standards exist-I am just not sure universal agreement can be ordered to exist on what these factors *are*"
In my mind, the standard metric for how to judge any major installment of Star Trek is whether or not it forced you to think. I say "major" because I'm guilty of enjoying some simple pleasures, like the mirror universe, or the occasional mindless action episode, and I don't want to detract from those.
My hope going into this season was that we'd get a good sendoff for the TNG crew. The sendoff they never got in Nemesis. By that standard I say Mission Accomplished™. 3 to 3.5 stars.
My issue is nothing in the season really forced me to think. The closest they came was with Picard confronting Beverly on making the choice for him. That could have been a worthwhile exploration of a real world issue but it was glossed over and by the end forgiven ("You made the right choices.") @Quincy had a great comment on this: https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-picard/s3/vox.php#comment-105459
Perhaps they made you think on grief and loss with the Riker/Thaddeus stuff earlier in the season. I defer to people who have actually suffered major grief/loss (I have been fortunate in that regard) as to how effective that plot was. There were a few touching moments there, Riker telling Picard, "Get to know your son", but for me at least, nothing that made me THINK. It was also pretty jarring because it felt like a retcon of S1E07.
I'll compare it unfavorably to The Undiscovered Country, which forced you to think about forgiveness, racism, war, betrayal, and old age. One scene that sticks out in my head, early in the movie, when Kirk says, "Let them die." Spock remains silent but through body language and facial expressions conveys both disappointment in his best friend and anguish for what he's still going through. We don't get anything like that here, we get characters who love each other snapping at one another ("You've killed us all") for no obvious to the audience reason and later it's explained to us via an exposition dump.
This seems to be the format (10-hour movie with weekly intermissions and an obsession with faux-cliffhangers) dictating the story to me. It undoubtedly would have been written differently (better) if it actually was a movie, or a Netflix series where all episodes were dumped simultaneously. (Imagine poor Jammer trying to review that, lol)
All in all, I'm happy they stuck the landing and we got a worthwhile sendoff for our characters. They avoided the trap the movies fell into of only focusing on Picard and Data. The whole cast got something worthwhile to do, some (Crusher) more than others (Geordi), but nobody was left out. The ending was very well done. The interplay between the characters was amazing, this cast has CHEMISTRY and it shows.
I just think it needed better pacing and a quantifiable theme or two beyond saying goodbye to our heroes. I would also have preferred less NuTrek tropes, in particular, the proclivity for Cheap Death Scenes™ (Shaw and Ro) and the reduction of Starfleet crew members to unprofessional whimpering cowards. Anything else I can nitpick is pretty trivial, stuff like the SFX, fun to talk about with fellow Trekkies but not something that factors into a critical analysis of the production.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 3:37pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 5:04pm (UTC -5)
"His entire story arc was he was an asshole. He even admitted as much. From his refusal to address 7 correctly to his misguided Wolf 359 crap. I thought it was nice to see him sort of grow out of that before he croaked."
I know, but it seemed like Shaw was an asshole with meaningful growth. Before the finale, one might infer that the goal of the story is to show Shaw having growing respect for Seven throughout the season as he sees her successfully complete tasks since there was no indication of her proven track record via dialogue otherwise. That makes the payoff of Shaw calling her by her proper name all the more rewarding for the character. However, seeing the recommendation in the finale shows that Seven did in fact have a proven track record and he did respect her work. It greatly minimizes the impact of his final moments. A single act just before he dies by calling her Seven of Nine does not in itself help redeem him from being an asshole.
But maybe we're on the same page about this. You did say, "'sort of' grow out of that", so perhaps we agree that it's a reeeaaally incremental improvement to his character. Like... small. 🙂
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
Thanks for another great comment, I love your writing.
I have been thinking about this a lot, I don't think anyone in the main cast did this for the money. They are all past retirement age. I'm glad it was for the love.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, Seven not being more involved in this Borg plot struck me as weird at first too, particularly with the Queen being back.
But I think it was wise because it could and likely would spiral out of control fast, simply because of Seven's extensive history with the Queen/Borg. Their backstory is vastly deeper and far more personal than Picard's.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
“anyone else surprised that we didn't get any references to Tasha Yar or even a Commander Sela cameo? I mean we got Michelle Forbes as Ro Laren!”
There was a reference to Tasha Yar. When Data is giving Lore all of his memories he hands him the hologram of Tasha from after her death.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
Is it "stuck" or "sticked"?
I haven't googled it yet, but strongly suspect the latter.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
I’m sorry, but as someone who’s favorite Star Trek show was TNG, and who’s favorite villain in all of Sci-Fi maybe ever is the Borg from TNG and First Contact, they pulled too hard on the fan service at the end in spite of a working story. They had the working story and threw it out in favor of fan service that doesn’t work for me. I understand the D was unfairly and unceremoniously destroyed, but then they have to screw over the E by saying something happened to it off screen that we didn’t and most likely will never get to witness? That’s even worse. For all the TNG movies faults, the best thing about them was the ship. It was ridiculous to see the D come back for what in reality was an insanely short amount of time, flying around all Star Wars like just firing Willy nilly with only Crusher, LaForge, and Data manning the ship. The bad nutrek lighting aside, I had been really loving the Titan A. I found the ship to be fantastic until they made up the most contrived notion ever so the Borg could take it over as well as every other ship in the fleet. I think the new level of assimilation idea could have been really great in a more developed longer season specifically about a Borg threat, but here it doesn’t work for me because they made it hinge on conveniently assimilating no important characters and the idea that all starfleet ships are linked so they can just take them all offline and control them all is silly. What happened to all the changelings disguised as starfleet officers on all of these ships? The Enterprise D isn’t some old boat from Earth in the 1800’s it’s also a highly advanced spaceship, why would ships from its era NOT be linked to this contrivance as well?
On a surface level, I liked the concept of the Borg hiding in the eye of Jupiter, I liked the zombified appearance, and hearing Alice again is always a treat since she’s a phenomenal actress. But outside of that? Everything about the Borg in the end of this season was just as bad as their use in Picard’s first two seasons.
1) their story arc here throws out the more interesting changeling plot completely
2) the technobabble to explain how they took over star fleet isn’t believable, it’s too contrived and forced/obvious, and it leads to yet another Kurtzman era ship armada wall overload of laser nonsense. This sucks especially since the earlier episodes did the space battle action with real Trek smarts.
3) Jack willingly just surrendering felt completely forced and out of character. His Borg suit being the same as Locutus even though the queen said he wouldn’t be Locutus was stupid.
4) Picard plugging into the hive mind of the queen and being able to think freely and unplug himself breaks all prior canon completely. Which leads to another issue, and the most important one.
5) once again the Borg are disposed of far too easily. They essentially show up for ten minutes to steal the thunder of the better told villain of the show and just get completely wiped out 10 minutes later. What made them so good in Best of Both Worlds and even in First Contact, was the prior history the federation had with LOSING to them. In Q Who the Enterprise gets absolutely rocked by the Borg. In BoBW their captain is stolen right in front of them and turned into one. They wipe out a massive chunk of starfleet, and are about to destroy/assimilate earth before a loophole is found that merely puts them to sleep, but even in that defeat they felt dangerous. Here they’re played up for an “omg what do we do” moment that in the context of the shows runtime makes up like 15% of the whole season, and it’s figured out 5% into that small chunk of the show.
Look I get why people are satisfied with this show. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in seeing Jerri Ryan and Speelers come back for their own show on the neo constitution class ship. But I disagree with Jammer that this is the best Nutrek thing. For all its ups and downs, Strange New Worlds is still the best Trek thing of this era in my opinion. Most of what I liked about Picard season 3 was already done better in Strange New Worlds imo. I like the Memento Mori spaceship battle more than the gravity well one here, I think Shaw was cool but but essentially was the same role as Hemmer which felt like a more emotional sacrifice, the fan service is done better there and more earned. I really wanted to like Picard 3 more, it just didn’t stick the landing for me despite its optimistic post climax. 2.5/4
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:33pm (UTC -5)
3+3+3+4+3.5+3+2+2.5+3.5+3 = 30.5
30.5 / 10 = 3.05
I would give it an additional 0.075 stars for the solid effort tho
…It’s a math joke. I’m rly tired right now ok
Fun season, I enjoyed it
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
In fact I’d have the “new” Enterprise at the end be the recommissioned and retrofitted Sovereign class beauty from the TNG movies to nicely bring it full circle. You could even have had the new bridge of the E look like the bridge from the D. That G that was shown just didn’t look right to me. And if Seven is Captain, the first officer could have been Data. And just before the card game (this time played on the Ten Forward of the Enterprise), have an adapted deleted scene from Nemesis play out with Data joking to a new officer that if you want to get on the Captain’s good side, call her by her first name, and throw in the last line on the Bridge telling the crew their first mission will take them to a place “where no one has gone before”.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
My god, I had no idea it was that bad. Amazing how much better it looked in 1983. Good link, very well edited.
Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 9:31pm (UTC -5)
It's not at all my favorite interior, but it certainly is my favorite exterior.
Sort of looks like the 70s Chevy Corvette, but to me it still looks like the most believable and gorgeous 23rd century + ship design.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 6:14am (UTC -5)
Some of the visual effects were great as well. One that sticks in my mind is when the Enterprise comes in to rescue Picard, Jack, Riker, and Worf. It is a great visual that gives an impression of scale, maneuverability, and power.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 6:55am (UTC -5)
I think you should look at all the other episodes you have given 3 stars to and ask yourself: was this really only on the level of those episodes?
This could so easily have gone horribly wrong, but instead was created with love and attention, exceptional production values, attention to detail, drama and laughter, a cast at the top of its game conveying meaning with every glance… and that music!!!
It brought together over 35 years of history, reflecting the love, joy and hope that brought people to the show in the first place.
I get where anyone can choose to be hyper-critical if they want to do so… and I get that rating systems are always imperfect... But really… this episode is only on a par and in the same ballpark with Turnabout Intruder? Or Home Soil? Or The House of Quark?
Nah. There’s surely too much here to admire and love. And if there’s one thing this at the heart of this episode, it is surely that: it’s okay to love!
Peace to all!
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 8:32am (UTC -5)
"@TheWatcher I didn't read any of that"
That's ok. The post was designed in such a way as to potentially improve you if it did and took it seriously or to simply reveal you to everyone else here as a shallow troll if it was obvious you didn't.
Your explicit confession confirms the side you picked so my post worked just fine.
You also lost out on something important but I never give up hoping your kind might improve someday anyway.
Something I learned from Star Trek.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 10:50am (UTC -5)
That’s mostly why this works. If the story had ended with “All Good Things” and the movies had never been made…
Jammer gave “All Good Things” a 4.0. Graded against that a 3.0 feels appropriate here.
People may forget what an event it was when TNG went off the air. The finale was screened in movie theaters, on jumbotrons at sporting arenas, etc., in our case we caught it at a local drive thru and the entire extended family was there. Even the ones that weren’t really Trekkies came out for the occasion. At the time it was held alongside M.A.S.H’s series finale, with mainstream critical recognition, and to this day makes many critic’s lists of the best series finales (wanted to link a few but couldn’t find any that weren’t clickbait)
Idk that Star Trek will ever get that kind of mainstream acceptance again in today’s fragmented media landscape.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 11:11am (UTC -5)
"[The next Enterprise] just doesn’t look regal enough to bear the name or sleek, or importantly a natural evolution of forebearers of the name."
Totally agree. I saw Terry explain that he wanted a ship/character that would be the underdog that you can root for. I appreciate that sentiment as a writer for a show, but I think us hardcore Trekkies find it hard to believe from an in-universe perspective.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 11:13am (UTC -5)
.. and Jammer, thank you again for taking time away from your young family and giving us a wonderful review. You truly are gifted. ... and Terry Matalis said "That set was saved" in the Ready Room episode with Jerry.
I'll start with some of my nit-picks. This is stuff that popped into my head while watching this.
I think I have to preface this by noting that TNG isn't my favorite series and the ENT D was far from my favorite Enterprise. Every time I look at it from the front I think of "The War of the Worlds". Don't get me wrong, I don't hate TNG, far from it. The gap between the best and not best for me is not very big.
I don't think that the writers in STP understand 7 or how to write her. Time and time again they miss the boat. She wasn't used at all to provide insight into or figure out how to defeat the Borg. Sin #1. I know this was a TNG crew send-off, I get it, but what a missed opportunity and a constant head-scratcher for me. That said, the most emotional moment (and there were many) in this closer for me was when Tuvok told Seven "Resignation not accepted Captain". (and 7 didn't ball her eyes out, Michael!!!)
I could almost buy Data piloting the "D" into the heart of this massive Borg cube had it been the old Data. But this isn't the old "Android" data. He's flesh and blood and in no way should be able to do what he did. Picard didn't become some sort of superhuman when he inhabited his golem. That said, no one tickles the LCARS like Spiner and it was fun to watch.
We don't see a reunion of Geordi and his daughters? Not sure what to say here. Sin #2.
When 7 and Raffi retake the Titan (I really liked the transporter phaser thingys (Michael would have just killed them - then cried about it)) and our "cook" doesn't have confidence he can get the job done, 7 should have put Raffi (Picard's old #1!) at the helm. This should have been a no-brainer.
I still don't understand the Changeling/Borg relationship. With this new DNA level of Borgness, did they assimilate the Changelings? Was this just Vadic and her brothers and sisters from the lab? Was this a deal the Changelings couldn't turn down? ... the Borg are solids too ... can anyone explain this to me?
So glad that Vadic didn't make some kind of SCI-FI reappearance in this finale. Poorly written and performed character. (I know I'm in the minority here) The show was better once she wasn't in it.
Worf was relegated a little too much to being a comedic punch. I get some, but...
Terry, no Laris in 10-forward at the end? S-L-A-P in the face to that character... she supported, no, convinced Picard to run off to help an old flame, you do the right thing by not having Picard and Crusher get back together, and you can't let Laris meet them?!?!?! She hasn't earned that? With all the fantastic stuff you did this season, how can you botch this? Jesus... sin #3.
No Guinan in 10 Forward? Sin #4.
I've listened to and quoted Picard's speeches from TNG countless times. The biggest reason I put him on a pedestal was the insight and wisdom conveyed during those speeches. He has been inspirational to me. Here, the TNG crew turns to Picard for a toast and he just can't deliver. This was really disappointing to me. Just horrid, and sad.
On to the good stuff!
No woke bullshit!
They pulled this off! In the era of Kurtzman Trek this is really hard to believe, especially in this series.
I think the villain in this season had to be the Borg. They were the most impactful villains in TNG and especially Picard.
... and on the whole - they made it make sense! I applaud the Borg story here (once we go to it)
The music alone makes me tear up... wow, this just can't be over-emphasized. Bravo! For me, in any series or movie, the music is half the battle to reel me in. Star Trek music has always been right up there with the best of the best in the visual entertainment business. This episode had it all. Right down to the TOS movie era cloaking sound for the Titan. "Getting the feels" really nails it here for me. (of course, I tear up every time I hear "Acher's Theme")
This was Lavar Burton at his very finest. We have never seen him perform this well. He's just awesome in every scene. His daughter did very well too.
Jammer, I'm with you WRT to Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut. She's a joy to watch and I can't wait to get more of her. I always follow my favorite Trek actors in other productions and I'll be sure to follow her.
It's really nice to know, as a Captain Janeway/Voyager fan, that she is the one that really stuck it to the Borg. I was really gratified when I learned this.
I think we all think of Alice's performance in FC when someone mentions the queen... and rightfully so, but damn was the depiction of a starved almost dead Borg Queen riveting here. Truly scary! I liked it when Alice came back to the part in Endgame, but this was incredible. Major kudos!!
I said before - Worf makes Raffi palatable. It was such a beautiful moment with Raffi and Worf at the end. I hope this is a course correction for the character.
Taking the time at the end of this episode for some closure also can't be overstated. These extra 20 minutes of emotional character moments made the episode and the season for me. Tears were flowing time and time again. This was so thoughtful of Terry. A fitting end to this crew and an era in Trek. All sins are forgiven.
I'm letting emotions make my selection Jammer... 3.5 stars from me.
We got SNW as a result of the fan reaction to Pike, #1, and Spock in STD season 2 - I think the fan reaction here is more and louder. I'm totally onboard for following the serialized adventures of Captain 7 and her crew onboard the 1701-G. If it means ditching Star Trek Acadamy to make this happen then so be it.
Make it so!
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
"[The next Enterprise] just doesn’t look regal enough to bear the name or sleek, or importantly a natural evolution of forebearers of the name."
Agree 100%. I thought it was very cringe-worthy. I guess Jean-Luc would have to be dead again to get a ship named after him, but I felt like it was a writing mistake to rename a ship the Enterprise (and it really looked like video game CGI). I do remember at least a few times that Kirk destroyed his ship and was given another Enterprise, so I guess if Terry was just going strictly for nostalgia, I see his point even if I think it was poorly considered.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 2:35pm (UTC -5)
"I don't think that the writers in STP understand 7 or how to write her. Time and time again they miss the boat. She wasn't used at all to provide insight into or figure out how to defeat the Borg."
I could not agree more, it was silly. It reminded me of when DS9 left Odo out some major Dominion scripts because it would be too complicated.
Who exactly is going to give a shit that Jeri Ryan is the star of a new TV show written by people who can't write her character? It's going to take a lot more than the under the table publicity of Picard 3 to get me into that show. I love her character on Voyager, but that only makes me want to rewatch more Voyager.
How could Jeri Ryan have been used more effectively? In my opinion, Jeri should have been the one at weapons, not the doctor. I bear no hatred for Gates/Beverly; but with Seven's specialized knowledge, they could have used her to great effect in the attack on the Borg.
"So glad that Vadic didn't make some kind of SCI-FI reappearance in this finale. Poorly written and performed character. "
Thank you, her character never worked for me, and honestly a lot of it was unintentional comedy that made me actually pause the show because I was laughing so hard. So we are in the minority, I guess.
Another character I struggle to understand is Raffi, I'd love to hear their explanation for why she was in season 3. I was starting to really enjoy her, but as the show neared the end, I just felt like she was superfluous and an obvious girl boss ornament. That's really a shame, because I sensed that Michelle Hurd could use some better material and sell it. I'm going to spare myself the grief of viewing her introduction and quote Jammer:
"Michelle Hurd does what she can with these scenes, but I found them to be overwritten, with the pained expressions bordering on tears, and her constant iron grip on the liquor bottle."
I would have welcomed an entire season where we found out that Picard was friends with that troubled woman, instead of seeing her rejected by society and lost in addiction. Doesn't sound like much of a Star Trek Utopia to me, or something Picard would be involved with. We need more backstory, it could have been a good opportunity to explain how addiction can be addressed humanely.
I honestly hope Michelle Hurd goes on to a much better series with much better scripts.
While it's nice to hear that we would all like to have more of the old TNG cast, I think it helps to put it into respective that most of these people are well past retirement age:
Patrick Stewart: 82
Jonathan Frakes: 70
Brent Spiner: 74
LeVar Burton: 66
Michael Dorn: 70
Gates McFadden: 74
Marina Sirtis: 68
And they all have my gratitude, for making magic happen again.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
I'd definitely be down for a Captain Seven series. Hey, we gotta know what her special line is (perhaps "shut up, Jack!" LOL).
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 8:01pm (UTC -5)
Maybe it was my low expectations, but I was at times pleasantly surprised, at times genuinely engaged, and at times thoroughly moved.
I know full well that nostalgia and age are blinding me. I've been watching these exact people play these exact parts since sometime around 1988 or so. I'm older and greyer just like they are. These are my heroes.
I'm just happy they got a happy ending.
When I rewatch the season in a year or two, after the nostalgia is gone, will it still be a great set of episodes? Probably not. The first half will hold up better I think, but I can't deny how many raw emotions the second half brought out of me. Seeing the 1701-D brought a tear. That's MY Enterprise, as much as those six are MY Trek crew.
Rose colored rating : 9/10 for the season, but it might fall to an 8 after I've calmed down.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
"I really can't stand Strange New Worlds. The tone seems to kitchy to me. Like sure all the crews had friendships, but they were all professional when it came to it. The people in that show feel like they just whisper and giggle in low tones in place of playing footsies under a table."
This is the NuTrek mentality. And this is exactly what I disliked in the New Enterprise Bridge, where Jack was behaving like an entitled brat still in high school.
Ships function based on hierarchy, structure, discipline and professionalism.
Any kind of ships, military or not.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
There’s also the reveal of Q at the end of the season. It’s yet another resurrection in a season filled with them. Yes, yes, nobody stays dead in science fiction. And since Q is not linear, this appearance could have been something he did before he died (I always thought that death was the only way Q could explain the idea that he was leaving the plane[s] of existence humans could comprehend, and was moving on to somewhere else). But given the choice between something that has narrative heft and a nifty magic trick that smashes the reset button, I’ll pick the heft, every time. The producers of TNG would say that any prospective writers must be able to write non-science-fiction drama well before they could write for Trek. If the story doesn’t work without science fiction elements, then it doesn’t work with them. It’s absolutely plagued the back half of the season.
The other problem the Q reveal exposes is the MCU-ification of both this season and the chatter about it. It’s cheap to use the final seconds of a series or a movie as a trailer for another thing. I’ll always want more Trek series, but don’t use one show as a commercial for another. None of the other shows have done that. Even DSC season two and “Terra Firma, Parts I&II” were stories that worked on their own, even if they opened up the possibilities of Strange New Worlds and Section 31, respectively.
Yes, there’s talk about a Legacy series. I’m agnostic on that. Sure, there are characters I’d love to see again (such as literally ANYONE from DS9—where were they, given all the references?), but characters themselves aren’t a concept. It’s characters and a premise that are a concept. And that concept is only as good as its execution.
Picard’s concept was a show about closure and a life after Starfleet. The first two seasons were about how Picard says goodbye to elements of his life. There’s a poignancy and humanity to that. It’s bittersweet and achingly beautiful to see Riker and Troi moving on from trauma, or Q saying Picard matters to him, or Picard coming to terms with a lifelong guilt about his mother, or most of all, Data telling Picard “a butterfly that lives forever is really not a butterfly at all.”
It was also the first peek we got at what a civilian-centered Star Trek series could be about. There was an early pitch that the show would literally be about Picard solving mysteries in France, kind of BritBox fodder with a Trek twist. That could have been truly fascinating.
Even at its peak, Trek has never been as commercial as most other blockbuster franchises, so I’ve always thought it should lean into that and be a bit quirkier and let the audience find it. Instead of mimicking the latest blockbuster, why not look to The Day the Earth Stood Still, Close Encounters, ET, The Abyss, Tremors, Contact, Interstellar, and Arrival? DSC season four did that to great success.
But this season has been a rebuke of that in favor of what sells. Even when it literally has Laris teasing a reunion between her and Picard at the beginning of the season, it can’t muster pulling the trigger on that Checkov’s Gun of a date.
I did say I’m conflicted about this finale. There are a lot of things it did right. Even if the characters had an uncharacteristic hatred for the other, what saved the day was love. Picard reaching out to his son by risking reassimilation broke Jack out of the intoxication of the Collective. Picard also came around to Beverly’s thinking on her exiling herself and Jack from Picard’s life. The goodbyes from Picard and Riker in this episode were poignant, but I couldn’t quite believe that Matalas would commit to something like that, given what this season was about, so my praise for that comes with that caveat.
I kind of think the decay of the Borg opens up the possibility of the Jurati faction curing what’s left of the Borg in the Delta Quadrant of their entropy. It seems like the kind of thing that makes you feel a bit sorry for the Borg. Maybe that could work as a TV movie, like the Section 31 movie. But it’s really the work this show should have done, tying together those loose ends, just as I would have liked something in there about the Great Link not sanctioning Vadic’s actions.
While I didn’t like Data and Beverly’s hatred, I do feel like they got some pretty good moments. It was nice to see Beverly kicking some ass at Worf’s station. Frankly, as much as Gates McFadden has said she’s liked that she’s gotten a lot to do this season, it still didn’t seem like all that much, once Jack was aboard. And Data truly does seem to have gotten about as close to human as possible. It’s less that I dislike this storyline per se, it’s just that I think the show should have chosen either season one’s death or season three’s resurrection. I personally think that season one’s storyline was the superior one, but I can begrudgingly admit that Spiner does a great job with this new story.
While we don’t get to see Laris again, I am thankful that Seven and Raffi are reunited on the bridge at the end of the episode. It’s criminal how little Raffi and Seven got to do at all in the season, and in particular how they didn’t get to share much screen time this season at all. But this episode ALMOST makes up for it. They’re a great team and seeing them in two of the three center seats on the bridge of the Enterprise-G is enough to make me believe they rekindle their relationship. I would have preferred it was aboard La Sirena, but the fact that Raffi even quips that “a thief, a pirate, and a spy” are in those center seats is at least something in the direction of something a bit more anti-authority (the thief is Jack, ship’s counselor, which I think is a fitting role for him, and a nice subversion).
Shaw endorsed Seven’s captaincy before the season even began. It’s at least a little closer to redemption than his calling her by her chosen name in his last breath, though it kind of makes his dickish behavior even more so, in retrospect, since he couldn’t let down that façade, revealing his true respect for her during the actual mission. And Seven gets a cool captain speech. She’s ready.
If we ignore the coda for a second, the final scene of the episode does a couple of nice things coming full circle for two different series. Of course, gathering around Ten Forward Los Angeles for a poker game, and particularly the circling overhead shot of the table, recall TNG’s series finale, “All Good Things.” But the fact that it’s at a (not the) Ten Forward recalls the very first scene of THIS series, when Picard dreams of a poker game with Data on the Enterprise’s Ten Forward.
The final toasts are more references, but pretty forgivable. First Data attempts to finish the dirty limerick he started in “The Naked Now,” before Picard decides to quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:
“There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.”
In the context of the play, Brutus’ words are rather martial, but divorced from that context, it’s simply a call not to be afraid to see what’s out there. I think that’s certainly been a theme of seasons one and two, where Picard unburdens himself with things that previously held him back, but I also kind of think it’s a tad disingenuous to assuage fears in a universe where the fear of death is fairly irrelevant, and resurrection an easy answer, as the third season seems to be saying.
Previous Trek shows have all had major changes in showrunners, but other than perhaps ENT, this show is the one who where the showrunners very concept of the point of the show was so at war that it felt like three completely different series. Even DSC, which could be divided into pre-jump and post-jump has been more thematically cohesive through its three sets of showrunners, with overriding themes of connection, grief, redemption, and the value of emotional intelligence.
That makes ranking this series amongst the rest rather difficult. A while after season one, I ranked the show first of the then four shows, with DSC second, Short Treks and Lower Decks below that. Season two knocked it down a few notches, but in retrospect, season two is growing on me a lot. It had some weird choices for where to place the cliffhangers and could have engaged a bit more with the ICE and Sanctuary District stuff, but it had some truly Trekkian endings. Season three had a strong first half, but what were fun fanservicey references in that first half kind of drowned out the rest of the season in a sea of status-quo restoring retcons. It lacked the conviction of the first two seasons. But what it did, it executed pretty well.
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
I would say: "why take away the nostalgia? The first two Picard seasons had the most boring new characters and idiotic plots. At least season 3 had characters I enjoy watching. If the plot has to be mediocre at best, then elevate everything around it with better characters."
Getting mad at "memberberries" is like getting mad at a bribe. It's craven, yes, but take the money. It's free money!
Sun, Apr 23, 2023, 9:12pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:48am (UTC -5)
Yeah well, not really. A gift would be free money. A bribe is payment for an illegal or immoral action.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 1:55am (UTC -5)
"While it's nice to hear that we would all like to have more of the old TNG cast...”
Lol, I wouldn't.
They've had their time. And then they got more. And then when Picard as a series was failing on all fronts, they got more.
How people can watch Patrick Stewart try and act these days, and compare it to his hey day, without finding it depressing is beyond me.
But another part of me is genuinely happy that it's bringing joy to some. So maybe they should keep wheeling out these characters even after the actors have all passed. I just won't be watching it.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Raffi was presented as "having probems with drugs" in season one. She OVERCAME that challenge.
You don't seem to have a problem when MALE Star Trek characters overcome problems in their life, like Sisko and his PTSD with the Borg (or even Shaw).
Oh, and Raffi is BY DEFINITION "first officer material" because she was Picard's adjutant when he first became an admiral. But again, you know this and want to call her out because she's a womon.
She don't seem to have a problem with Riker's "problems with authority" in "Chain of Command II" or "The Pegasus" or even when he refused to let Captain deSoto lead some away mission. But heaven forfend Raffi do the same thing.
I am really sick and tired of this garbage (particularly "USS Girlboss") being posted every single damn day and Jamahl not doing anything about it. I'm assuming he's African American. Would he be OK with someone parodying Captain Sisko as Captain of the USS Bling, or something like that?
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 2:41am (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 2:43am (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 3:53am (UTC -5)
As someone who is leaning more negative on the season because of the last two episodes, it has nothing to do with the women on the show. I thought Troi actually felt like Troi for the first time since TNG ended. Raffi was meh for at me first but won me over through exactly what Feminist Trek Fan stated in their comment above. I loved Crushers extended role, and Jeri Ryan always knocks it out the park. I think the show fell for me towards the end because the sci fi writing was genuinely weak, but I agree with the positive consensus that Picard did right by the characters and putting them in a good place to end it on.
I don’t agree with anyone about the tone of SNW. It’s episodic, and the tone changes drastically from episode to episode which is a good thing. The tone is silly and everyone acts unprofessional in two episodes of the show due to a virus in one and an anomaly in another. This is no different from things like The Naked Time, or Q whisking the crew away to play Robin Hood, both of which are stories that are just as much Star Trek as Wrath of Khan is. I think most people are in agreement the only character on that show that’s annoying and unprofessional generally all the time is Ortegas. But there’s room for her to grow. Most Trek shows have their annoying aspect/character early on. They have an opportunity to listen to reception and make the necessary adjustments if they do it right with that show, where Picard ultimately for me felt a little too little too late. Remember comparing Picard 3 is a bit superfluous to comparing it to SNW’s first season. SNW in one season was far better than Picard in BOTH its first and second seasons. I appreciate its levity in a world full of grimdark MCU sci fi. And I think it’s even smarter (if a little derivative) than Picard was by the end of it. Compare the battle with the Gorn in the collapsing gas giant/black hole with any other battle in Nu Trek since 2009. The Enteprise only fires ONCE, and it’s all the better for it because it’s intelligently written and every single maneuver or decision by the crew has a major impact on the events and outcome of it. In Picard season 3 we see yet another CGI overload of lasers and ships everywhere shooting stagnantly where our characters invent universe changing teleport gun technology off screen because it’s convenient for the story.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 4:04am (UTC -5)
It also would have been so much worse if Shaw had been a garden variety dick whose only purposes were to be killed for catharsis and making room for Seven and Raffi's empowered tag-team or whatever. I think we've seen crap like that before, but elsewhere. So I think it's a credit to Picard that, here is a Nu-Trek series that doesn't give into precisely the sort of temptation has been alluring for Nu-Trek (okay, maybe they gave into the temptation just a little bit since they still predictably killed him off even after giving him a more important and interesting role).
Also the "one year later" thing is a bit of cop-out, sure. But would we -really- have been super keen to see more Raffi character development unfold... especially if it meant replacing some of the proper goodbyes to our Legacy characters in order to make room for it?
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 8:35am (UTC -5)
You think wrong. I'd be willing to wager any sum you like that the majority of Trek fans watching SNW do not find Ortegas "annoying" or "unprofessional."
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 8:56am (UTC -5)
As I've said before, whether I am "OK" with something is not the bar for deletion around here. There's stuff posted in here every single day I personally disagree with, but if I simply deleted opinions I found dumb or obnoxious all the time, this place would just be yet another echo chamber reflecting my own personal sensibilities. I will step in and make deletions if it crosses a line of offensiveness that's beyond the pale or people start making personal attacks that look very likely to derail a thread, but that's a subjective call and I'm not going to pretend otherwise.
My own feeling is that certain people need to grow up, but that we also need to learn to ignore* the people that need to grow up, not delete them out of existence.
* The people who disagree need not ignore; they can engage and push back, as long as they aren't making personal, over-the-line attacks. But that's not typically going to be me. You don't need (or want) me in here fighting those battles every day.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 10:01am (UTC -5)
"How people can watch Patrick Stewart try and act these days, and compare it to his hey day, without finding it depressing is beyond me."
It's been hard for sure. Not only did the writers just slap the real character down, Patrick's performance has definitely shown his age.
"But another part of me is genuinely happy that it's bringing joy to some. So maybe they should keep wheeling out these characters even after the actors have all passed. I just won't be watching it."
The sad part is they did the same with the original crew... for decades. It's part of the business I guess.
You want to boil down the problems with Picard seasons 1 & 2?
Letting Sir Patrick in the writers room. It's hat simple.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 10:23am (UTC -5)
A limited budget means relying on story and characters, which has always been Trek's strength. Picard's effects budget (and effects work in general) was still capable enough to give us some great battle shots, but the focus on the characters and story made this season a hundred times better than the first two.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 11:25am (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Not to turn this into a thread about online comments, but there is a place for moderation and the deletion of garbage. The comments here, for the most part, tend to be better than the average comment board. YouTube comments are notoriously bad, and creators and companies have the right to protect their brands and filter out racist and sexist garbage.
Does moderation go too far? I'm sure in a lot of places it does. I don't venture too far beyond my own site into discussion boards because I just don't have the time or patience, but I hear that there's a lot of curating for like-minded opinions by moderators. That is a moderator's right, but it can obviously go too far. They have to weigh the pros and cons of free discussion versus free-for-all mayhem.
I don't do that here because I generally don't have to, because the quality of the comments are better than a lot of other places, and I like to think we're all adults who can handle it. But that doesn't mean if that changed I wouldn't change my approach. If this place turned into a cesspool of trolling garbage, I would moderate with a heavier hand, or just shut the commenting down completely.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 12:39pm (UTC -5)
It also gets tricky when there are thousands of comments on a thread and then Facebook shows you "most relevant," and it becomes impossible to know what that actually means because an algorithm has figured it out for you.
I guess we should just consider ourselves lucky that there's an active board here that's not too big to be impossible to navigate and moderate.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
I think Patrick's experience with Youtube is an example of censorship not moderation. And it is dangerous. So some folks have have started creating their own video channels / services.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
“You think wrong. I'd be willing to wager any sum you like that the majority of Trek fans watching SNW do not find Ortegas "annoying" or "unprofessional."”
I was just speaking about her that way in regards to the negative people have shown about SNW in regards to my comments on here. And I don’t see any positive comments about the character at all from anywhere online so maybe you’ve seen different which is fine. Either way that’s not relevant to my overall point that the characters in SNW aren’t unprofessional and goofy all the time.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
Maybe more importantly, it was satisfying on a sentimental level--and I'm taking the good! Like many of the other commenters here, I was just happy to see the TNG crew go out in a way that respected them and had affection for them. The final scene of the TNG crew playing cards together will stay with me, and that makes me glad.
I also liked that Picard finally got to be a father, and I thought that the scene between Jack and him within the collective was very moving. (I was a kid when TNG went off the air; now I'm a dad, and it was very gratifying to see Picard get to be one too.) It may have been a missed opportunity not to see Picard be Locutus again from an external vantage point, and it's odd that the two of them could speak to each other as individuals from within the collective. But I'm taking the good!
And Brent Spiner's performance as the new Data was hands-down brilliant. His ability to show Data's human side while still seeming like the old Data in some ways was outstanding. Sure, the Ent-D-flying-through-the-Borg-megacube was ripped straight out of Star Wars, and Data's "go with my gut" line felt like a retread of comments he made in Generations and First Contact. But overall, Spiner's performance this season was phenomenal, and the new Data was (for this show) uncharacteristically well written.
Another good thing: It seems like there's a divide over this, but I really enjoyed the post-credits scene. I think it's worth noting what Q specifically said in PIC season 2: words to the effect of "I'm... moving on. In your parlance, I'm dying." I took that to mean that he wasn't *exactly* dying, in terms of how we think about it. Almost like he was going on to some other realm. So maybe he can come back from that when he feels like it. (Having said that, Q makes the comment about things not being so linear, so maybe even the Picard writers are just thinking that this iteration of Q is pre-death, since Q can travel through time. I don't know. But I can have my own spin on it, at least until Q clarifies things in a future Star Trek scene that may or may not ever happen.)
As I say, I'm grading on a curve. This season had a lot of maddening things about it. I almost stopped watching the show after Riker's "Remove yourself from the bridge" line at the end of "Seventeen Seconds." It was such a ridiculous line, from an episode that already had a ham-fisted and overly simplistic dispute between Picard and Riker. (After the episode, I told my wife--who doesn't watch the show--that it felt like the episode was written by a bunch of overeager seventh graders for a drama class.) And lots of other things didn't add up, to a glaring degree, even though I was trying to be as lenient as possible to the show in light of its past performance.
Plus the number of plot points/lines/visual beats that the show stole from other Star Trek episodes and movies was really excessive. I've thought about starting up a Google Drive spreadsheet to list all the ones I can think of and let others edit it to add ones that I've missed. But there are so many.
Even in this episode, which did a better job than most at standing on its own two legs. For instance, the Queen saying, "Watch your future's end." That didn't even make sense! The reason she says it in First Contact is that they're back in the past, and she's saying that Picard's future won't exist once the Phoenix is destroyed. But why say it here, when they're in the present?!?! And then the "All Good Things..." overhead poker shot at the end. That one might have worked better if the season didn't have so many *other* callbacks already, which meant that this one appeared when we were already well past the saturation point.
And it irks me that Terry Matalas is on Twitter talking about the season as if it's epic storytelling and a fantastic ride. Earth to Terry: it's not. For one thing, the pacing of the season was *terrible*. I said that the finale was minimally competent, which it was. But the pacing of the season as a whole was not. Particularly the first half, which had so much filler it puts a hot dog factory to shame. If you're going to write a 10-hour serial season, the first thing you should do is map out a plot where enough things happen in each episode to make each one compelling. They didn't do that. They often didn't even come particularly close.
And the story, up until the final two episodes, just wasn't very good. If the writers wanted to tell a story about the Borg, make it about the Borg. Incorporating the changelings for most of the season only to have that be a case of massive misdirection made no sense, dramatically speaking. Particularly with a cartoonish villain like Vadic and her cartoonishly over-armed ship leading the way. Stringing out the mystery involving Jack, which the writers seemed to think was first-rate suspense building, was another misfire. Teasing us with a reveal that always seems like it's around the corner but never comes isn't clever; it's just exasperating.
None of this is hard to see. I don't know nothin' about writing for TV. But even I know this stuff.
But, again, I'm going to take the good and leave the rest. I loved the "threesome" line and Riker's hilarious response. I loved Old Man Worf falling asleep on the bridge after the battle was won. I loved Data and Troi's coda scene. I loved Riker's "We'll be waiting for you--me and our boy" line, which was heartbreaking. I loved Troi driving the ship to victory (and the beautiful effects shots in that sequence). I loved Data's opening limerick line. I loved Picard quoting Julius Caesar in what is probably the last time we'll see all these characters together in one place.
And, in terms of the broader season, I loved Picard and Ro's scenes together, and the fact that they reconciled in the end--something that I never expected to see. Also, the scene where Data defeats Lore by absorbing him may be one of the all-time great Star Trek scenes. (Check out Lore's expression when Data hands Spot to him. Lore has already started to become Data, as you can see by Lore's look of concern for Spot. More brilliant acting from Brent Spiner.)
So, yeah, I'll take what I liked and leave the rest. Someone needs to tell Terry Matalas that he could have done a lot better. But was this enough? For me, grading on a curve as steep as Mount Everest, it was.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
On Voyager, this character portrayed by this actress pulled off the amazing feat of rising above that horrendously embarassing, boobs-in-your-face objectifying catsuite. She was dignified, charismatic, powerful, but also deeply flawed and vulnerable and always fascinating. Despite me watching Voyager in my hormone flushed teenage years I never thought of her in a sexual or even particularly gendered way. Seven of Nine just wasn't about that and Jeri Ryan nailed it like beyond all the odds. I truly admired her. Yet in Picard, she has been reduced to this 1-dimensional ball-buster and all of a sudden, it’s all about her gender and eclipsing it.
I can't see this character in its current state as the lead of any show. There is simply nothing left that is intriguing and at her worst, she just makes me cringe. What a terrible shame. Probably the worst casualty that this show has inflicted on me.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
This seems like an overstatement, at best. I recall there were much questions and concerns swirling during seasons 1 and 2 about whether the changes in Seven made sense or if she can even be considered the same person, for better or worse. But I think Seven really came into her own in this final season. Part of this has to do with her being in a role that makes sense for her character. Seven was always a bit of a ball-buster even though on Voyager she was written with far more subtlety and nuance than she is here. But that is just the way it is with Nu-Trek in general. Many a time Janeway's balls got busted which made a lot of sense for the type of dynamic they had and even though it could often be seen as her speaking out of turn.
Here, that same energy is sublimated into a command position where it is part of her duty to question the Captain particularly when she foresees a better course of action. This relationship unfortunately devolved to near-toxic levels at times which is seems to be more Shaw's doing than Seven's, but this is effectively played for drama that is well in keeping with the usual Nu-Trek school of thought, and isn't necessarily meant to be taken as a statement on gender relations.
I do agree though that it was mainly Jeri Ryan's acting that elevated Seven from becoming sharing the fate of the mostly forgettable and one-note T'Pol who makes me think of little more than a passive sex doll. The idea that Seven transcended gender, in spite of the sort of executive meddling that fetishized her body, is an interesting observation. And the Borg certainly had a way of nullifying gender as they do not sexually reproduce and reduced everyone to the bland homogeneity of drones, so it made sense that this was internalized in Sevens' early self. Later on, as Seven came to fully reclaim her humanity, it makes sense and seems only fair that she would come to step entirely into her womanhood and not reject that aspect of herself.
All in all, Seven largely succeeds as a changed but evolved character in ST:Picard because she retains the essential traits that have been cultivated by her experiences, while losing or growing out of those character traits that no longer make sense because of that same evolution.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 4:48pm (UTC -5)
I was introduced to Star Trek by my Mum. Some of my earliest childhood memories are watching Star Trek with her. When Next Generation came along, I was still a kid and one who had no idea how I was going to fit in this world (gay kid in the 80s/90s, go figure). Star Trek showed a future filled with optimism; and where people didn't discriminate against others because of the prejudices that drag down our current times.
Decades later and this episode brings us to the end of an era that has meant so much to so many. Are there things that could be nit picked in this episode? Yes, of course. Though honestly most of the criticisms I have seen levelled at this show are just as true of the other incarnations of Star Trek. Like those other incarnations, where it transcends those critiques is because it means something to us.
And this episode meant a great deal to me. Technically, it was brilliantly executed (the sfx, the design, the awesome soundtrack). The story brought together themes of love, connection and sacrifice whilst telling a gripping adventure story. The cast brought over 35 years of history to every exchange and every sideways glance.
I am not afraid to admit it, I ugly cried through some parts of this. It honoured some of my most important memories. It brought joy, it brought connection, it brought love!
Peace to all!
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Thank you for your extremely cogent analysis. Your comment echoes many of the issues I have attempted to raise over the season. I think the scripts would have benefited greatly from the attention of a script editor.
"I almost stopped watching the show after Riker's "Remove yourself from the bridge" line at the end of "Seventeen Seconds." It was such a ridiculous line, from an episode that already had a ham-fisted and overly simplistic dispute between Picard and Riker."
YES, all of that felt false. William T. Riker, whining about his own decisions?? I didn't buy it. After he said "you killed us all" I felt completely out of touch with the show. I didn't know who was a changeling - and if that explained those out of character behaviors. Overeager seventh graders indeed.
The constant thorn in my side for the show is still Who is Jack? They made him this incredible linchpin throughout the show, but they never laid the foundation for his identity. Some people really do pay attention to this stuff! He looks nearly 40, acts like he's 20, and a lot of his lines sound like they're written for a teenage boy. DNA test, at least?
Also, he's capable of telekinesis and probably telepathy, because...?
Like I said I think they needed to have another go at the script, preferably with a first class script consultant. I find it an odd and hollow feeling that this entire season had a character I never knew. Especially compared to characters who felt like old friends. Even Wil Wheaton as Wesley could have arguably sold the Jack material better.
Alsö: I tend to live a bit under a rock but if you haven't checked out this podcast, here is a link: https://youtube.com/@ShuttlepodShow
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
"There was a missed opportunity with the whole series. Picard could have simply managed the vinyard, trying lots of different things to improve his root stock and contending with various horticultural challenges."
I get that you're joking here and your comment did give me a laugh, but having recently gotten into viniculture and winemaking, I would watch the shit out of this show.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
Apparently HBO is making a Harry Potter television series. Some interesting commentary in there about the challenges of doing serialization for TV without an existing manuscript (e.g., Harry Potter and ASOIAF) to follow.
Money quote for our purposes: In 2021, the Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman was asked what he’d learned from producing the first season of Star Trek: Picard, a nearly $100 million show that received mixed reviews from audiences. “Figure out the end earlier,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “If you’re going to do a serialized show, you have the whole story before you start shooting.”
I now repeat my question asking WHY DO THEY INSIST ON THIS FORMAT?!? I think steam came out of my ears reading that quote. Y'all shove this 10-hour movie nonsense down our throats and you admit it's not even planned out like one? Why? Just why? :(
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 6:41pm (UTC -5)
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
This is most of the reason my partner loathes the character and the casting.
They cast a 35 year old to play a 20-something year old)....
Also, do the writers even know how old he was supposed to be? By the timeline he's got to be 19/20 (Memory Alpha concurs with this) but in dialogue he said he was 23/24.
Regardless, why was a 35 year old who looks that age cast to play someone in his late teens/early 20s?
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 6:56pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, he said it. 🙄🤦🏻♂️
I'd like to think they learned their lesson but virtually every season of "serialized" Trek has had the same pacing problems. We get the big bad/big concept intro, a cliffhanger, a bunch of side quests with occasional check-in on the big bad/big concept, a few twists to shock the audience, and then a MAD RUSH to tidy it all up in the last two episodes.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Well, one fan wank is that he got exposed to radiation or something.
And really, some people do look a lot older or younger than their age.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
Seems like it would have been a lot more ominous to the audience than endless shots of that door and all that.
And I don't think it surprised many people. As much fun as we had on here theorizing, if I had to put money down, of course I would have guessed Borg.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 7:31pm (UTC -5)
How about that stupid Vadic Hand Thingy? Im assuming were supposed to know that its the Borg Queen but okay......how? We could have done away with all of that nonsense and revealed the Borg Queen early on, and had Vadic communicate with her on her communication device.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
First, the underwhelming.
I found the resolution of the Borg crisis extremely average and underwhelming after some of the solid buildup in recent episodes. We’ve seen all of these beats before, including the poker game ending (All Good Things) that I anticipated here and appreciated when it came. Like Jammer, I also missed the connective tissue from this season to Laris and previous seasons, as I was hoping to see Jurati again. But it’s fitting for a farewell reunion tour to end with the characters (even Q) who started it all, as we may never see them together again.
And that leads me to the good stuff.
This episode ends the TNG saga on a warmer and more human note than anything we’ve ever seen from these characters. I liked the TNG films and even Nemesis just fine, but they suffered like TNG itself from a glib superiority and attitude of dismissiveness toward past Star Trek. Here there’s more of a tender and natural chemistry among the cast in this episode’s last act. I like that very much; it calls back to the genius of TOS being more about the characters than plots or sci fi gimmicks. This episode and season, unlike much of the first two Picard seasons, remembers the past of these characters and helps us feel like we’re back in the same universe.
I also want to single out Patrick Stewart’s acting as Picard in the scene where he offers to stay with Jack in the collective. It’s so thoroughly Picard, with Stewart saying so many great Picard things that bring out the character’s compassion and humanity, that it stands out to me as the finest moment in this finale episode.
The goodbye scene with Data at the end of season one was also good and well acted, but feels like a bit of a cheat with Data coming back in this season. And I must say that Brent Spiner also manages to mail and develop his character in this final appearance, giving us a Data who has finally “become human” after 36 years of stories. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Spiner’s unique brand of ham, including all his one-dimensional Soong spin-off characters, but he hits some real depth in these final appearances as he emotes comfortably without all the android makeup. This was quietly the best surprise of the series for me.
Is this series a better TNG cast sendoff than Nemesis? Kinda. Tonally, it’s all over the place, failing at times to grasp the TOS insight with Star Trek VI of leaning confidently into a solid final bow when the opportunity arises. It figures things out at the end, but overall it’s a pretty clear 2 1/2 star series.
I do like the teaser at the end. I’d love to see a spin-off series with the Enterprise-G in this original Roddenberry timeline, allowing more characters from DS9 and Voyager to show up. I’m sorry the Dominion subplot here didn’t give us a chance to catch up with the DS9 universe a bit.
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
"For the various folks commenting on serialized TV and how this season was poorly paced, this popped into my feed today: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/04/harry-potter-hbo-reboot-tv-series-jk-rowling/673816/"
That article sounds interesting, but sadly I'm behind a paywall for the Atlantic (alas already subscribed to New Yorker). I know Jammer discourages ad hominem attacks on the actual writing staff and I know I've been critical of Akiva Goldsman in the past, but jesus. He truly is the hack to end all hacks. Despite any perceived flaws or nitpicks, it's a minor miracle Matalas was able to get season 3 accomplished without Goldsman's input whatsoever!
This "improv" writing style really is beyond comprehension. These type of shows and seasons aren't even necessarily like serialized, open-ended, long-running storylines like a Breaking Bad or Mad Men. They seem more akin to a mini-series, since they focus on a single plot. It would be like starting to film a movie before the script is even finished. How could they ever think that would turn out well?
Mon, Apr 24, 2023, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
"I get that you're joking here and your comment did give me a laugh, but having recently gotten into viniculture and winemaking, I would watch the shit out of this show."
I too love wine and was only half-joking.
While I suspected a focused Picard winery series would be perceived as off-the-wall by most, I held out hope that someone would see the true potential. I might never go so far as having Worf and Riker doing the barefoot grape crush thing, but the thought of the TNG cast doing a rendition of "goodnight jim bob, goodnight maryellen" to close each wine-making episode is rather tempting. :)
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 2:49am (UTC -5)
"I'm sure Ed Speelers was cast because he looks a lot like Stewart"
But he doesn't look even remotely like the younger Patrick Stewart! :D Were they doing it to flatter PS?!
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 2:52am (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 2:58am (UTC -5)
While I try to find closure in personal relationships I accept that in life not having closure is the far more common occurrence. In a way life itself has no closure, it ends for us as individuals but continues for others which is the most annoying thing about death for me. I will never know how the story ends and while it annoys me, I have no problem accepting it. That might be the reason that I didn't need Star Trek Picard at all. With every new even more timid season of NuTrek my respect for the awful awful season 1 of Discovery has grown because they at least tried things (and failed horribly). Season 3 with all this endless fan service is closure I never needed because for me these are in the end just stories. Now we get another victory lap for the TNG crew so that all the old fans can sink into their comfy chairs/sofas and think "Wasn't that nice". The problem for me is that when Star trek doesn't provide me with interesting ethical dilemmas or philosophical questions then it isn't really what I watch Star Trek for.
This season of STP felt like walking through a natural history museum. Most people seem to enjoy those. For me it's just endless rooms full of stuffed animals and fossilized bones. I find it slightly unsettling.
They got so many people on board by doing the most comfy and fan friendly version. Or as the redlettermedia guys said: This is the best TNG movie which seems like faint praise.
Dreaded nostalgia! Let's move forward again.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 4:58am (UTC -5)
"I'm sure Ed Speelers was cast because he looks a lot like Stewart"
I did my homework on this one when the series started and looked up as many pictures of young Patrick Stewart as I could find (very fun!). There might be a resemblance between the two actors but I can't see it. It's like the baldy guy from Nemesis, it was a bad idea. I just kind of assume that Speelers is someone's nephew who hasn't given up on the acting dream.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 7:06am (UTC -5)
"Dreaded nostalgia! Let's move forward again."
Once again you put forward a thought-provoking set of ideas. I too saw Mike and Rich of RLM discuss the series and was surprised that they were won back by the showrunner.
Here's my take on it: Nostalgia heals wounds. Mike and Rich even said something like that....a repair surgery for all the cinematic ruination that occured after All Good Things (paraphrase).
Nostalgia enabled the RLM guys to regain their enthusiasm after years of abuse. To generalize from their experience, nostalgia is therapeutic for our species. It is a necessary capacity allowing us to recapture positive life aspects which were lost as a result of unwanted change.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 8:13am (UTC -5)
I might add that it's also because all the TNG movies save maybe First Contact were so unsatisfying in their own way. Generations ostensibly gives Picard a reason to stay a lone captain aboard the Enterprise (to emulate Kirk), but even Kirk had dozens of flings and doesn't strike me as a lonely guy, so that's a weird place to go.
Then there's Insurrection, which is mostly about Picard's relationship with a Ba'ku woman, where maybe his romantic yearnings are finally fulfilled. But despite its ambition to be an "insurrection" the story lacks any sort of scale to be considered a finale.
Finally, there's Nemesis, which admittedly I haven't seen in a while. I vaguely remember the crew finally making peace with some faction of the Romulans and Data dying. When I saw it in the theater, my buddy told me that this was the last TNG movie, and I was like "What? This hardly concludes anything! Why end it here??" Oh, and did I mention this movie is bad?
Thus, repairing the TNG franchise has a certain logic to it. While STP may not have made the most of its time, there's a huge amount of dramatic finality to it. Also, using "closure" in a literary sense is different than using it in a psychological sense. Closure is a conclusion which makes good on the creator's promise to tell a complete story. Imagine the Avengers ending at Civil War or something. That's what Nemesis was.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 8:17am (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 8:25am (UTC -5)
See here for the gold standard of nostalgia: https://www.jammersreviews.com/st-ds9/s5/tribble-ations.php
That episode had a compact engaging story and never felt contrived.
There was supposed to be a movie after Nemesis but it was such a bomb it killed the plans for one.
They also left a lot of character development on the cutting room floor.
“Repairing” the franchise is a good way to look at it. Retconned the two biggest gripes I had from the movies, loss of the D and Data’s death. I think Dexter: New Blood is a better entry in the franchise repair pantheon though. Granted, TNG’s “end” was never that bad!
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 8:43am (UTC -5)
I think I agree with both of you and do feel that given how bad "Nemesis" and "Insurrection" were (I have not been able to watch them in their entireties), they did a major disservice to our beloved TNG crew. And obviously PIC S1, S2 did them no favors and made the Picard character look worse. So PIC S3 had to come along and repair a lot of things and give them the proper sendoff. The best part of this season for me was the nostalgia - which was great - and it wasn't so much about expecting a terrific story (which I don't think we got).
Now if we left off at TNG's "All Good Things..." and never had any TNG movies, I would have been fine with that and the TNG characters would have had their appropriate send-off. But "Generations" wasn't bad and "First Contact" was pretty good so I can't blame the powers that be for going for another movie -- it's just that they did the TNG cast a disservice. At least we have the nostalgia of PIC S3 and proper closure now.
So I'd say mission accomplished for PIC even though as a series overall, it's pretty poor. But at least it ended well and that's what I think will be most remembered.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 9:17am (UTC -5)
"Now we get another victory lap for the TNG crew so that all the old fans can sink into their comfy chairs/sofas and think "Wasn't that nice". The problem for me is that when Star trek doesn't provide me with interesting ethical dilemmas or philosophical questions then it isn't really what I watch Star Trek for.”
And when that victory lap occurs with everyone so old, but doing roughly the same old stuff, it feels somehow sad. Like watching your favourite football player hobbling around at 60 for a charity match, trying to do what they once could.. It's actually quite depressing. (Yes, I have issues with mortality.)
And the better reviews this stuff garners, the more likely the studios will keep pumping out more of the same.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 9:55am (UTC -5)
I can really relate to what you both are saying.
Generations is watchable but it went up the wrong alley. Thematically, it had no descendants. However, if you feel like a having a good cry one afternoon, why not watch it. First Contact was entertaining, although we got saddled with the Borg queen for time immemorial, a redux of Circe, Medea and hideous Medusa.
The later TNG films were thoroughly trope-stale and were best watched as one would a B-level '50s monster flick. "The Return of the Creature [from the Black lagoon]" comes to mind as an example...good only if you like to watch bad stuff happening in a swimming pool and at a lobster restaurant, but otherwise, not very worthwhile. :)
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 10:20am (UTC -5)
I think Insurrection was actually a halfway decent movie, the closest they came to matching the tone of the TV show.
Wouldn't claim it as great by any means, it just sticks out in my mind because it wasn't dark (First Contact and Nemesis) or depressing (Generations and Nemesis), we felt good when we left the theater having seen it. I would rank the movies First Contact, Insurrection, Generations, and then Nemesis.
My main problem with the TNG movies is they never tried to really tell us a story about what the characters were up to post All Good Things. They were just a series of standalone self-contained adventures. Star Trek II through IV was a trilogy and VI of course stuck the landing for the TOS crew. We never got that for the TNG cast.
Not sure S3 of Picard qualifies here. It's certainly better than ending the story with "Nemesis" but I would have appreciated using some of the ten episodes to flush out more of what happened to these characters in the last 20 years. Instead we got a bunch of fluff (the Changeling misdirection and Jack mystery box) and got updated on the last 20 years via exposition dumps.
Producers were likely schedule constrained on getting the cast together but presumably could have done some individual episodes before the big reunion?
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 10:39am (UTC -5)
"... I would have appreciated using some of the ten episodes to flush out more of what happened to these characters in the last 20 years."
I definitely see that. :) The serialization problem is mainly that it allows a stretching out of scenes to the detriment of backstory. The result is a lot of filler. Separate adventure storytelling needs to be concise and often produces richer experiences for the viewer.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
The "serialization problem" in NuTrek is they don't know how to write a serialized story.
DS9 ended with a very serialized story that spanned nine episodes (ten if you consider the length of the finale). Each flowed naturally into the next and the story was sweeping enough to justify that much airtime. I don't recall much fluff at all in those episodes. No faux-cliffhangers immediately resolved in the first scene of the next episode. Just a sweeping story they couldn't tell in a single or two-part episode.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
"The "serialization problem" in NuTrek is they don't know how to write a serialized story."
That is so right. I think the filler is a clue. There is also a tendency to dispose of characters so soon after their introduction, that no arcs are even possible. DS9 avoided these pitfalls most of the time.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 4:00pm (UTC -5)
E1-E4 (minus the M'talas Prime scenes which ended up being pure filler) was about rescuing Jack and escaping the nebula. The issue is they introduced the "what is Jack" mystery box in E3 when it should have been introduced in E6 or E7. They also introduced the (really stupid) Vadic cutting off her hand in E4 which also should have been introduced later. Without these 2 cross contaminations, this would have been a self-contained story. It still holds up though, "No Win Scenario" is solid TNG style ending to the arc.
E5-E8 is about the changeling threat and the weakest of the three arcs. This arc would have been better with a deeper dive into DS9 canon, exploring the aftermath of the Dominion War, fleshing out the rogue changeling faction, and giving Vadic some depth as a character. I would have also liked some scenes showing exactly how the changelings were manipulating Starfleet to adopt Fleet Formation. Towards the end of the arc Vadic can contact the Queen to establish there is a second villain, but find a less cheesy way to do it.
E9-E10 is about the Borg. I would have expanded more on the aftermath of VOY's endgame (a flash back with some details would have been nice). It also would have been nice to have a scene showing Vadic and the Queen meeting that shows the how and why of the Borg / Changeling alliance. Why did the Borg have so much power over the changelings given the Queen's weakened state? Why would the changelings enter into a subservient relationship with the Borg? I really thought they were going to explain this by showing that the Borg Queen was the one who freed the changelings from Daystrom. There's been a lot of discussion over the decades on what would happen if the Borg met the changelings and I think it's a great plot idea, but the season didn't really do it justice.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 4:11pm (UTC -5)
DS9 killing off Ziyal packed more emotional punch than any death scene in NuTrek. Every Picard death has felt like it was done for pure shock value and/or to serve as a MacGuffin for another character.
It is especially galling when it's long established characters (Ro, Hugh, Icheb) who deserved a better ending to their arcs.
Perhaps I should be happy Chief O'Brien didn't get his deserved cameo with the TNG cast. These writers probably would have given him a redshirt death. Cut to the next scene of Keiko tossing back a bottle of hard liquor with Seven while ruminating about playing Judge, Jury, and Executioner.....
Weird that this is something Discovery for all its flaws has approached with some gravity. Airiam and Cornwell, those deaths had emotional punch. Some felt cheap in the moment (Hugh) but were later redeemed through decent storytelling.
Also, today I learned there's a website that compiles Star Trek deaths,
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
"...Cut to the next scene of Keiko tossing back a bottle of hard liquor with Seven while ruminating about playing Judge, Jury, and Executioner....."
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
"So I just saw the Redlettermedia take on this season and they like it with a few caveats."
Not a surprising opinion from them. They deftly navigated a 180-degree turn from mocking nostalgia in the "Rogue One" era, to accepting it in "Mandalorian", all the way to gleeful consumption in "Picard S3". The RLM guys now follow the audience wherever it goes, which does risk running afoul of having consistent standards.
"That might be the reason that I didn't need Star Trek Picard at all. With every new even more timid season of NuTrek my respect for the awful awful season 1 of Discovery has grown because they at least tried things (and failed horribly)."
Exactly the reason I ended up thinking Picard S1 > S3. At least it had some sort of creative pulse, erratic as it was. S3 is a dry, manipulative algorithm in comparison.
As far as closure goes, the concept is interesting and meaningful in human relationships. When podcasters start feeling or demanding "closure" from fictional characters on a screen, I think they have too much time on their hands.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 7:19pm (UTC -5)
“Totally agree. I saw Terry explain that he wanted a ship/character that would be the underdog that you can root for. I appreciate that sentiment as a writer for a show, but I think us hardcore Trekkies find it hard to believe from an in-universe perspective.”
Yes I appreciate the effort put into this show, and the music for instance is sublime and reminds me of First Contact. I did like the Titan itself as a Starfleet vessel and as the Titan. But I really would have preferred the Enterprise to be an Enterprise if that makes sense. The evolution to the E in my view was perfect when seeing it on screen in First Contact. I feel like the next Enterprise or a named Enterprise needs to look the part and in particular take note that it’s the 25th century. To be honest I wish they’d shown us the E having been restored in the Spacedock which would have also resonated with Picard given it was his last command. That would have been perfect in my view. And have the scene of the old crew playing cards be on the Enterprise itself.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
“Agree 100%. I thought it was very cringe-worthy. I guess Jean-Luc would have to be dead again to get a ship named after him, but I felt like it was a writing mistake to rename a ship the Enterprise (and it really looked like video game CGI). I do remember at least a few times that Kirk destroyed his ship and was given another Enterprise, so I guess if Terry was just going strictly for nostalgia, I see his point even if I think it was poorly considered.”
100% THIS. I didn’t think it was right to rename an existing ship. It felt in poor taste and didn’t sit right with me. It would have been better if they’d done what they did with Kirk when he was given a new Enterprise. Since they already showed us the Enterprise D on screen, I felt the perfect ending would have been a similar scene to The Voyage Home with them entering space dock and seeing the Enterprise look like his last command vessel. Having Picard senior dropping off his son to a restored Enterprise E would have been the icing on the cake in my view. And yes hopefully with full CGI or the model they used in First Contact. As the new crew was on the bridge, the old crew could have been playing cards on the Enterprise E itself. That’s how I’d have written it personally. I just feel the E deserved a scene and an Enterprise needs to be an elegant, regal, symbolic flagship.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
>censorship not moderation
In my view there is no difference, moderation is just a degree of censorship all be it a necessary one.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
It’s interesting to me that you’re familiar with RLM but think Picard S1 > S3. The Mr. Plinkett evisceration of S1 was pretty spot on I thought.
I haven’t seen anything subsequent to that. If they are indeed telling the audience what it wants to hear that’s a pretty big bummer. They were cutting enough back in the day to go after First Contact, which is a bit of a sacred cow in TNG fandom, but most of the criticisms they level at it were deserved, IMHO.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 10:05pm (UTC -5)
Regarding closure for the Next Generation cast-- I'm sure it was pitched that way to some of the cast and others in the biz. And Nemesis was a very dismal closing chapter for this crew.
I doubt most TNG fans were thinking too much about Nemesis when asked the question:
"Would you like an 8th season of The Next G-"
"**** YES YES YES! ****"
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
Regarding Goldsman-- I almost wonder if they made Picard S2 and S3 back to back so they could distract Goldsman with S2 while Matalas was producing a great S3 without interference.
Hack-- that he made the comment about not bothering to write the story before starting filming a ten episode story... that's a pointy haired boss's version of a pointy hair boss.
There's valid criticism of the plot integrity of some older shows, like BSG, but they never had the ironclad guarantee of producing fully formed stories, so they had to wing it to some degree.
Tue, Apr 25, 2023, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Ha, yes, I have to admit whenever the "S1 > S3" crosses my keyboard, I wince a bit. It certainly didn't meet fan expectations as well as S3. I compare the two seasons as I would two chefs differing in effort. One could mix half the kitchen in an inedible mess, while the other served frozen hot dogs and burgers. One required creativity, but the other one was edible. :)
Yep, I agreed with the RLM guys on S1, as far as execution went. They surprised me most on "Mandalorian", as did much of the Youtube media. Everyone had to do a screeching 180 after two years of surviving on pure Star Wars hatred, and faced a choice of sticking with principles or joining their audiences in worship of nostalgia. Nearly all chose the latter.
Every creative has now learned that you can hurl shit at the screen for an hour, and people will love it if the shit has a familiar shape. The suits upstairs love it, too, because it just means new content == very cheap function (old content).
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 5:41am (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 7:12am (UTC -5)
After a quick search I found Darren Mooney's review of eps 1-6 and thought it read very well.
Can't see anything on the final eps though.
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
I get it, serialized TV is hard. The Atlantic article I shared talked about Babylon 5 and how JMS had to write the vast majority of episodes (92 of 110) himself to preserve his vision. It talked about how great Game of Thrones was until the show-runners outran the source material. The limitations Harry Potter faced being condensed into movies (if you've read the books you know how much was cut out!) and how it could thrive as a TV show with good show-runners. (Please HBO, don't mess this up 🤞🏻)
What I don't get is why CBS insists on doing this but doesn't care enough to do it properly.
Let's lead with the fact that nobody in fandom demanded a serialized story when Trek came back to the small screen. We'd certainly have accepted it if it was done properly (DS9) but who was clamoring for it?
It feels like the dog chasing its own tail. Maybe everyone in Hollywood was (is?) afraid of Netflix because they pulled it off with a few high profile shows? We better copy what they're doing so we remain relevant kind of thing?
The other takeaway from that Atlantic article, Picard S1 apparently had a $100,000,000 budget. That much money and they couldn't finish the story before they started shooting? Can I get a $100,000,000 for a half baked idea and flush it out after I start spending money? :D
Tim's Picard S4 Story Outline:
1. Picard meets the big bad.
3. Picard defeats the big bad.
Where's my check CBS? We'll start filming tomorrow. 🤣
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
I get why Mandalorian is (or at least was, in S1 & S2) so popular. It tells (told) simple mostly standalone stories, with enough of an overarching plot to keep the audience engaged, and manages to remain happy and uplifting even in its darker moments. My partner and I never ended an episode of S1/S2 Mandalorian going, "WTF just happened???", which has frequently been our reaction to the end of NuTrek episodes.
It's many of the same reasons why Orville worked so well. There's a market for this stuff, people crave cheerful escapism in their entertainment. The real world is plenty dark enough, we don't need it in EVERY TV show on air.
I've never really been a 'Wars' fan, even before the prequels. Of course I saw the original movies, they're a huge part of American culture, but I never went out of my way to watch them. That said, I LOVED Mandalorian, for all the reasons above. It felt like a unique entry in the modern TV landscape and until this recent season was one of those few shows that we'd arrange our schedule around to catch new episodes on their drop date.
Here's hoping Strange New Worlds doesn't make major changes to their formula from S1 because that's the closest thing we've got in the current Trek universe.
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
TOS had no Theme, TNG had some reoccuring themes, well Q and Borg but definetly a character development. DS9,VOY and ENT had themes but they where not always so important. Then DISCO arrived with a partly enjoyable S1 (I am genorous here) but then it just got wierd. PIC S1 I also partly liked but S2 was awful, S3 viewable.
I can live with a light serialisation as long as it just don't feels like a loong movie and you just wait for the conclusion. PIC S3 and DISCO S2-S4 was awful. I tried to retatch s4 in order to understanid it but I failed.
I would prefer less tecnical finish but more creative stories. I don't mind if they pick up old themes and bend them. A season should definetly be 20 episodes.
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Agreed that it would have been nice if they’d expanded on the Borg Changeling alliance more. The Queen being the one to free them and linking to Voyager/First Contact would be a neat idea. Also more on the infiltration of Starfleet.
Personally would have liked a Janeway and Doctor appearance too. And as above, the Enterprise E being the new ship in space dock at the end. I am not sure why they seem to want to revert designs of ships to the prior 23rd century era.
I enjoyed this season which effectively becomes a proper sequel to the 24th century Star Trek shows and you can ignore the prior 2 seasons. The return of Data was what should have been done to begin with. It makes you wonder what could have been if this team had been given the full episode time of all three seasons (30) or a 24 episode season dubbed TNG season 8 in order to have a better fleshed out story. Or indeed the movie production teams from the TNG movies. Hell even have given us a sequel to Voyager and TNG.
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Season 3 of Picard is the ultimate example of Boomer Brain.
It's the exact same phenomenon as how the Internet lost it just yesterday because the new trailer for The Flash that dropped features Keaton's Batman front and center, and even has him say the "let's get nuts" line (even though Keaton delivered it as though he was on horse tranquilizers).
People go nuts for nostalgia bait just like a baby giggles when you jingle your keys in front of him / her.
Like, I don't get it: I don't mind having cool characters return, but how about a good story?
Everyone one of these "We just want gOoD sToRiEs! " goobers seem to magically shut up and start weeping like they were blessed by Jesus himself whenever someone pours a steaming heap of nostalgia gravy right into lap and shows them Things They Might Remember From Their Childhoods doing certified Cool Shit™, like the digital action figure version of Luke Skywalker slicing up a bunch of cartoon droids in a hallway with a lightsaber.
It is literally a pacifier for cranky adult babies.
It is heartening to see at least some corners of fandom have not succumbed. Those clamoring for more Matalas Trek based on their emotional response to Picard S3 have perhaps misunderstood what they experienced. I do not say this to be patronizing, but simply wish to point out that if you took the base level of writing observed in season 3 and plugged it into the Legacy format (sans the Next Gen cast), you may find yourselves sorely disappointed.
Wed, Apr 26, 2023, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
I’m truly at a loss to explain S1’s handling of Data other than the writers didn’t plan terribly far ahead.
It cheapens the character to know he’s apparently as easily copied as a CD. Data, coming to a Napster near you! Make as many copies of this sentient being as you want, he won’t mind!
The one compelling story from S1 was the race of androids, so naturally that’s the story we never return to. It’s not even mentioned as a throwaway line when Data 3.0 (or is it 4.0?) comes online. Wouldn’t he want to know about that? 🤔
“Hey buddy, welcome back. You saved our lives when Tom Hardy (err Shinzon) tried to kill us all. Thanks a bunch for that! What’s happened in the last 20 years? Well, Picard had a kid but he only just found out about him. He and Dr. Crusher forgot how birth control works. She vanished for two decades but she’s back now! Romulus blew up. Mars too. I’m running a museum now. Married that woman I met on the holodeck when we were trapped in that energy draining trap. What happened to her original husband? Who cares, she totally fell for me after she learned about the holodeck stalking. Best day of my life! Anything else we need to fill ya in on? Naw, I think that about covers it! Good to have you back!”
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 12:04am (UTC -5)
It definitely wouldn't work very well without the legacy TNG characters because the real story all season was "getting the band back together for one more adventure."
The Jack/Beverly/JL angle provided mainly family themed drama. The Jack/Borg thing was ultimately little more than an excuse plot.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 3:13am (UTC -5)
Why did anyone think Disney buying Lucas was a good idea anyway? Putting aside whatever woke issues, they make little kid movies. Of course they were going to screw up SW.
I'm aware Star Wars is for kids, but not THAT young. Little Mermaid, Cinderella.... Star WARS.
I was always baffled by this. Disney has one of the strongest brands in the world BY FAR (little kids movies) yet seems determined to tarnish its reputation.
I signed up for Disney for a month to watch The Beatles: Get Back... It's a great series, but it's a very strange place for it. Its got cursing and smoking and Disney wanted to cut that stuff-- luckily McCartney said "no".
Anyway, I would have watched it a year earlier had I known it existed.
So, while there for a month, I looked around and found... mostly movies and shows for very young kids. Duh.
I guess they've done a lot better with the comic book stuff.
Maybe they thought The Black Hole qualified them for SW. That was ... one acid trip of a movie. It's got some "cute" robots that suggest it's for kids, but it also has a very scary robot and a terrifying murder. And there's one lengthy scene that quite possibly is depicting a literal fiery hell.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 7:07am (UTC -5)
Disney has always produced varied content under different names. Earlier they had Touchstone Pictures where they produced the more adult themed movies. Obviously they did not create a separate streaming service for their more adult content, so they included it into Disney+.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 9:47am (UTC -5)
The Disney Renaissance movies of the 90s (starting with Little Mermaid) were successful precisely because they appealed to older children and adults (like Star Wars)
I guarantee you Poor Unfortunate Soul (sung by Ursula the Sea Witch, a busty cabaret diva of a villainess) was not intended to appeal to the Teletubbies set.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 10:02am (UTC -5)
Here her political views. :D
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 10:54am (UTC -5)
30 year olds watching Disney and reading YA novels is not healthy, imo. Ditto for adults who watch comic book movies and "wrasslin'."
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 12:59pm (UTC -5)
I genuinely don't understand why NuTrek is so soullessly obsessed with shamelessly swiping from every other sci-fi franchise. Are they not embarrassed?
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
I remember the first season of SNW creating some interesting discussions around here. People liked different aspects of it, and we saw a lot of 1 and 4 star commentaries in the same thread. For me, the appeal was passable-to-excellent writing in a few cases, comparable to TNG and eclipsing DSC/PIC entirely. Such writing is noteworthy by its mere existence in NuTrek. The downside was the over-targeting of the youth market, with the quips and finger-guns type of humor. It undermined the writing, which should always be a big no-no.
I'm probably in the small minority thinking Pike just doesn't work in SNW. The actor is great. But they've made him into this quasi-motivational speaker, delivering cheerful snark instead of leading from the front. Even accepting the premise that they were intentionally trying a "friendlier" sort of captain, so many of his lines just don't land well.
I finally got around to watching all of the RLM Picard S3 review. Mike called it "basically the best TNG movie". Really? I don't recall the finer points of "First Contact" and "Insurrection" enough to rank them, but both far exceeded Picard S3 in all departments. Credit where it is due, S3's scoring and Frakes on both sides of the lens, both were quite good.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
'I don't recall the finer points of "First Contact" and "Insurrection" enough to rank them...'
Well, suffice it to say First Contact and Insurrection weren't stuffed full of filler, red herrings, wild goose chases, and cringeworthy dialogue. Insurrection was a S7 episode of TNG inexplicably turned into a feature film and First Contact is one of the best Trek films full stop.
PIC S3 is fan fiction at best.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
'Even Prodigy feels like it would be quite at home among the the many animated Star Wars series that Disney has been churning out (as opposed to anything remotely resembling TAS)'
Prodigy is simply Star Trek: Star Wars Rebels or Star Trek: Clone Wars. If I recall Star Wars Rebels was actually quite well written, and Prodigy is far from terrible - but as you say the influence is clear.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Hey, Bill Maher, is that you? 🤣
I kid, lol, the rant against comic books is one of his cause célèbres.....
FWIW, I don't personally see the attraction in the MCU, or comic books for that matter, and one of my fears is CBS is trying to MCU the Star Trek universe because they perceive that's necessary to stay relevant in the modern TV landscape.
Frankly I'm not sure that's what the die hard MCU and Star Wars fans truly want. No doubt SOME teenage boy SOMEWHERE is into it, but how many of us just want to watch a good story about Mando, Deadpool, or Obi-Wan, without it connecting to twelve other stories we probably didn't see and possibly don't even care about?
Imagine if every DS9 story relied on TOS and TNG callbacks. They did it a few times, successfully I might add, but if EVERY single story had relied on it? I doubt very much the series would be as fondly remembered as it is today!
Not sure where the line is between "Easter Egg as a wink at long time fans" (NuTrek does this a lot) and "MCU-style Universe Building" but I'm afraid CBS will cross it. Perhaps already has. 😬
P.S., I'll fight you on Disney movies not being healthy for adults, lol! You can have Lion King from me (41 years old) when you pry it from my cold dead hands. :D
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
"I finally got around to watching all of the RLM Picard S3 review. Mike called it "basically the best TNG movie". Really? I don't recall the finer points of "First Contact" and "Insurrection" enough to rank them, but both far exceeded Picard S3 in all departments. Credit where it is due, S3's scoring and Frakes on both sides of the lens, both were quite good."
I'm in the minority here of not loving First Contact (*), but if I were to rank it, it certainly beats Picard S3. Insurrection probably beats it too. Pretty forgettable story but it captured the 'tone' of TNG a lot better than Picard did. Picard S3 was off on both tone and story. The pieces for the story where all there, but assembled in a haphazard way that doesn't work if you stop to think more critically than, "OMG, THE ENTERPRISE-D!!!!"
Don't think, just rave about how awesome it is on Twitter, and make sure you use all the official hashtags so our bosses at CBS now how good of a job we did.....
(*) My issue with FC is the 'A' story on the Enterprise. It's essentially just an action movie, as pointed out in the Mr. Plinkett review. Stewart acted the hell out of it and I could have bought the change in his character (also pointed out in Mr. Plinkett) if they had stayed away from some of action movie cliches, but they didn't, particularly the Final Showdown™ in engineering. Die Hard did that scene better, lol.
The 'B' story was great, 100% Trek, and the ending of the film where the cast silently observe first contact with the Vulcans before discreetly exiting redeemed the movie for me. Everything about that scene was perfect, definitely the best part in the TNG movies (Picard included) and one of the best in the entire TNG canon, IMHO. :)
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 2:01pm (UTC -5)
"I'm probably in the small minority thinking Pike just doesn't work in SNW. The actor is great. But they've made him into this quasi-motivational speaker, delivering cheerful snark instead of leading from the front."
Anson Mount/Pike won me over as a Starfleet captain in Discovery, the whole season really, but the moment that sticks out in my head was the episode where they go to Saru's planet and the overlords decide to wipe out Saru's people, "If you choose to murder the entire Kelpien race you will become our enemies. Choose wisely."
Delivered with the same matter of fact deadpan tone that Picard used to casually threaten Tomalak with mutually assured destruction in "The Defector." Exactly what a Starfleet Captain should say in that situation.
They dodged the consequences of that choice with the Red Angel stuff but if memory serves Pike wasn't bluffing and was about to go to war to try and stop the genocide.
I definitely recall a lot of "cheerful snark" in SNW S1 but I don't recall it pulling me out of the universe. If you loiter on the comment stream here I'll share some updated thoughts in the episode threads when we do our re-watch before the S2 drop date. :)
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
I stand by what I had said before, that if Generations and/or First Contact are at the top, and Nemesis is at the bottom, then Picard S3 falls around the middling Insurrection. I may not object if they had said Picard is the best feel-good TNG movie since First Contact is more of a horror flick and Insurrection has this whole icky vibe to it that is difficult to define. Yes, it has some great laughs and euphoric highs but these are brief interruptions within a very dark and cynical plot. That said, if I wanted to wrap myself in a warm and fuzzy cinematic blanket, I would sooner choose Generations over Picard.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 2:13pm (UTC -5)
'I definitely recall a lot of "cheerful snark" in SNW S1 but I don't recall it pulling me out of the universe.'
I don't want to turn this into a thread about SNW (which would break Jammer's rules), but Ortegas is horribly written and definitely 'pulls me out of the universe' every single time she rattles off these woeful MCU-style quips the writers continuously saddle the poor actress with.
A bit like the very worst dialogue in this episode, come to think of it. Data saying 'I got this', for example. Good God.
But whatever tweaks one's freak, so to speak.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 2:24pm (UTC -5)
'I stand by what I had said before, that if Generations and/or First Contact are at the top, and Nemesis is at the bottom, then Picard S3 falls around the middling Insurrection.'
I suppose it comes down to this for me: Generations felt like Trek. First Contact felt like Trek. Insurrection, while odd, felt like Trek. Nemesis felt like Trek until it didn't, and was probably the moment at which the Berman era really blinked out of existence.
PIC is firmly Kelvin/JJ/Kurtzman NuTrek and so for me doesn't feel like Trek at all to be brutally honest. It feels like the Force Awakens (at best) or Last Jedi (at worst) - I never bothered with Rise of Skywalker or the Mandolorian after that. I really don't get how people can say PIC S3 feels like Trek. It's like a parody of Trek written in a less imaginative version of the MCU style.
Sheer fucking hubris, you might say.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
NuTrek's defining characteristic for me, apart from message or content, is its constant pacing. There aren't any dramatic swells or lulls, just this never-changing drumbeat of actors reading lines. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that the actors are instructed not to vary speech rate to convey character, so that their time on screen estimates are more accurate. This would be the natural result of a writers' table starting with a Final Cut/Premiere laptop and "we have to fit 32 scenes in here".
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 2:54pm (UTC -5)
“The return of Data was what should have been done to begin with.
I’m truly at a loss to explain S1’s handling of Data other than the writers didn’t plan terribly far ahead."
Yes I thought S1 handling of Data was absolutely appalling. I was baffled beyond belief as to why anyone would applaud that. Let alone killing Data off again.
Regarding him coming back, I was alluding to the point that the old Star Trek production teams (I think there is a perfect explanation of this on the Shuttlepod podcast on Youtube done by the actors from Enterprise doing an interview with Berman) left a seed that Data could come back in Nemesis. Apparently there was a plan for a follow up film after Nemesis (which never happened) to involve the TNG crew up against a host of villains and bringing back both Kirk and Data. It was demonstrated in Nemesis that Data had attempted to upload his memories into B4's (less advanced) positronic net and alluded to that PERHAPS (not definitive) it had worked when he started humming the tune Data had sung when Captain Picard spoke to him at the end of the movie. Personally I wouldn't have killed off Data in the first place (or had B4 be the one to make the sacrifice), but I can understand at least there is a potential way to bring him back.
At least this Season can be thought of as a continuation of the TNG movies in the sense that Data is just brought back and alive. If I recall correctly, it was mentioned that the scientist Soong managed to fully integrate Data's uploaded advanced programme/memories into the newly built Android unit (for some reason uploading Lore as well) with the only difference being that the new body had the ability externally to age so as to make him fit in better with humans.
I don't think there was any plan for S1 and S2 of Picard. I am certainly not saying S3 is perfect by any means, but at least it's SOMEWHAT (emphasis on somewhat) reasonable as a follow up to the TNG movies. I personally still prefer the happier ending of Star Trek: First Contact (a great movie) or even Star Trek: Insurrection (which felt more like an extended TNG episode) overall in terms of aesthetic, the ships and story.
It's a shame though, because if this S3 was tweaked (and it still needs A LOT of tweaking), it could have been almost perfect. I personally still think the only way for that is bringing the old writers/production team from TNG/TNG movies back.
The lack of the Enterprise E in this series in my opinion was not a good thing. The "new" Enterprise was bizarre. That ship should have stayed the Titan with a new ship (or the previous Enterprise) coming back as the regal Enterprise. I also personally thought Data would come back as the Captain and Seven be his Commander. Or vice versa.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
P.S. Also just my thoughts, but I would have thought a better "connection" to the past for Data coming back would be adjusting the scene where he defeats Lore. E.g. After he says "Goodbye Brother", have all the white glow change to his perspective of his last memory from the movies and then he wakes and sees his old friends on the Titan.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
'Yes I thought S1 handling of Data was absolutely appalling. I was baffled beyond belief as to why anyone would applaud that. Let alone killing Data off again.'
I too abhorred the treatment of Data in S1 and despised the final scene in particular, which I found to be cynical, depressingly fatalistic and cheap. I couldn't understand why everyone was gushing about it (and why many still are).
That said I always felt the Picard/Data double act gradually and unfairly took up far too much space toward the end of TNG and in the films. I know full well it's because Picard/Data episodes and storylines were wildly popular, but it became too much by the end of Nemesis.
The one upside of S1 and that final scene was that neither 'JL' nor USB Data felt like the real Picard or Data so it didn't really matter. It was just tacked on to a season full of nonsense about 'synths' and Soji anyway. Back when the PIC showrunners were still aiming to treat Trek fans with as much contempt as they could, because they could.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
'The "new" Enterprise was bizarre. That ship should have stayed the Titan'
What even happened to the pregnant Enterprise-F? Its destruction wasn't shown on screen or referred to as far as I can recall (I may be wrong), and at the end of the episode with the silly Enterprise-G reveal I was actually left thinking that there were now two ships named Enterprise in NuStarfleet. Impossible, but it wasn't made clear.
I was also one of those who fully expected the Titan reveal to be the new USS Picard - which still would have made sense, since 'JL' did actually die in S1, being replaced by the Picardbot 2000.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
"That said I always felt the Picard/Data double act gradually and unfairly took up far too much space toward the end of TNG and in the films."
I know, right? Poor Geordi got cucked. For the bulk of TNG, their relationship can best be described as detached and professional with Picard merely tolerating Data's naivete with a barely suppressed impatience. Meanwhile it was Geordi and Data's relationship that had all the hallmarks of an intimate friendship and where Data truly got to explore and build upon his evolving humanity. Fast forward to the movies where Geordi is largely out of the picture to make room for this burgeoning bromance, and then by the time we get to ST:Picard, Picard is suddenly all maudlin and pining over his BFF...
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
I know that "bringing it back" is perfectly doable from a technical standpoint, but it still gave me joy (and perhaps a few goosebumps) to see Ms. Barrett's name in the credits.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 4:33pm (UTC -5)
.... the US Navy has named ships after people who were still alive at the time. It's pretty darned rare and when it happens it's considered a great honor.
I suspect there's no one left in the writer's room of NuTrek with a military/naval background. That may be why this never occurred to them. See my previous complaints about Starfleet crew members being reduced to whimpering cowards in various episodes this season. :(
Regardless, I concur with the sentiment that it would have been a nice ending to the show.
Personally, rather than rename Titan, I'd have written it so they renamed the Stargazer from S2, rather than the Titan, just as a little nod to Picard's history there. :)
Also concur with the sentiment that it was a wasted opportunity we didn't see the Enterprise-E.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Also beginning with First Contact, the movies turned into the "Picard/Data/Worf Superfriends". This was also reset in PIC 3, the show became an ensemble again.
The ensemble nature of TNG made it a poor fit for the big screen.
Insurrection: This easily felt the most like an episode, albeit a weak one.
But cringe? I don't recall if any specific *dialog* was cringey, but Picard/Data/Worf singing opera was one of the cringiest things in all of pre-NuTrek.
And Riker flying the Enterprise with a freaking 1990s era computer joystick, which VERY dramatically emerged from the floor. Also one of the cringiest things.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
Well let's see...
It had to make its antagonist race into mustache twirling villains (grotesque visage, subjugating other races, joining the Dominion later) to hide the fact that it actually had "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" on *its* side.
It had Picard going full Maquis, which only made Ro's PIC S3 appearance remind us how much of a hypocrite Picard is.
Ru'afo, even when at his wit's end, still only tagged and transported the Ba'ku rather than killing them, while Picard left Ru'afo to die horribly when he blew up the collector.
I could go on...
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
I gave it a shot, but it was the same drivel as all other nuTrek.
I gave up on it after 4 episodes, because that was when Orville S3 started airing.
I'll pass on SNW S2.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 8:11pm (UTC -5)
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 8:34pm (UTC -5)
I should have said "difficult to encapsulate in a single sentence" but by all means, do go on. I love it when people hate on Insurrection.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
"NuTrek's defining characteristic for me, apart from message or content, is its constant pacing."
I disagree. The defining characteristic of NuTrek isn't haphazard plotting, bad pacing, and/or nostalgia bait - it's a fixation on psychology over philosophy. All the live-action shows are obsessed with individual identity and trauma, and 'Picard' is the worst offender. It contrives situations to pathologize its characters - Jean Luc has trouble connecting due to a troubled childhood, Seven becomes an outlaw after seeing her surrogate son brutally dissected, Raffi is an erratic junkie because Starfleet denied her the resources to investigate her conspiracy theories, Rios is dissatisfied with his life and struggles to fit in due to post-traumatic dysphoria, Shaw is an asshole as a result of PTSD from Wolf 359, Crusher abandons her friends to protect her son after losing Jack and Wesley, Riker is exceedingly cautious to avoid reliving the loss of Thaddeus, and Geordie is reluctant to help his old friends out of fear for his daughters' safety. Is it any wonder that Worf, one of the least pathologized characters in 'Picard', most resembles their earlier self? Now, sure, classic Trek examined these things as well, but they were always couched in larger, more abstract and universal ideas or queries about the human condition. NuTrek has little to no interest in this. The characters are smaller, pettier, less enlightening and aspirational.
Thu, Apr 27, 2023, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
"The ending must have been re-edited. The "one year later" thing doesn't track"
Kind of looks that way.
The one year jump was surely there to facilitate getting Jack and Raffi aboard the Titan/Enterprise.
But they might have moved the scene of Riker/Picard/Geordi shutting down the D to AFTER the jump so there's actually a possibility of D adventures in the missing year.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 12:14am (UTC -5)
'The defining characteristic of NuTrek isn't haphazard plotting, bad pacing, and/or nostalgia bait - it's a fixation on psychology over philosophy. All the live-action shows are obsessed with individual identity and trauma'
Strongly agree with this. It's also much of what's moved NuTrek so sharply away from resembling anything genuinely Trek. That and the obsession with quips, meandering filler and pew-pew spectacle, of course. In NuTrek you can never feel that people are living in a better future, overcoming challenges in an uplifting, inspiring way; no, they're broken prisoners of their past, living out their personal diaries in public in what amount to a hellish, dispirited, hyperactive dystopia. It's profoundly depressing and for me it can never be Trek.
It felt obvious to me that the Enterprise-G (no laughing at the back!) reveal was originally set up to be the reveal of a USS Picard (which is the only reveal that would have fitted logically in that scene if one thinks about it) but that the writers and producers back-pedalled at the last moment, presumably because someone om the staff repeated the myth that you can't name vessels after living people. My reference to the Picardbot 2000 was simply to point out that JL was actually dead, so even the myth didn't apply. It's a bizarre creative choice which is par for the course for PIC, really.
'And Riker flying the Enterprise with a freaking 1990s era computer joystick, which VERY dramatically emerged from the floor. Also one of the cringiest things.'
Absolutely one of the worst moments ever in Trek. What were they thinking etc.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 12:59am (UTC -5)
He discusses the casting of Speleers.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 1:03am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 2:38am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 3:54am (UTC -5)
I never understood the logic behind killing off Data/pretending to kill off Data in PIC S1. It wasn't because Spiner didn't want to appear in PIC, as he continued to do so in God knows how many iterations of Soong (I genuinely lost count and confuse them all).
I understand that Spiner might have wanted to portray Data again, yet here he is doing it anyway.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 4:04am (UTC -5)
It's been a full week since the final episode dropped.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 4:07am (UTC -5)
Spiner didn't want to do the makeup again and felt he had obviously aged well past the role of Data, hence the result here.
I don't know about S1, but suspect he got a very large payment to do it.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 4:42am (UTC -5)
Yes. I meant to write 'I understand that Spiner might NOT have wanted to portray Data again', famously because of the make-up tedium.
(Interesting how Dorn has returned to Worf again and again without complaint despite claiming at the end of TNG that he was happy to see the back of his 'turtle'.)
My understanding was that Stewart and Spiner were both enticed back for Nemesis primarily due to the promise of greater creative control (Spiner had a story credit), and Stewart was of course a producer of PIC.
I do very much understand Spiner's reluctance to return to Data, but I am puzzled as to how Spiner could find portraying the Soongs an exciting prospect.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 7:59am (UTC -5)
The joystick is so cringe, thanks for reminding me, that's hilarious. Still, I really liked Jonathan in that film.
"He discusses the casting of Speleers."
Would you happen to have a timestamp for that? :)
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 8:55am (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Thank you, I didn't want to sit through 3 hours of that; I'm not comfortable with any of these extra-episode explanations. So Terry believed Ed looked in his early twenties, and is a very good actor. It only makes me wonder why Terry has such bad judgment about some things; but no one's perfect and he did give us some crippled nostalgia I guess.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Perhaps Generations worked for me because I was the perfect demographic of someone who grew up on TOS, but gradually fell in love with the magic of TNG. They're spending more money on Trek than ever, but in my opinion the Star Trek golden age was the mid-90s.
"My issue with FC is the 'A' story on the Enterprise. It's essentially just an action movie..."
Great comment, I won't quote the whole passage but it really touches on why First Contact didn't give me the glow that Generations always does. My impression was that First Contact's 'A' story was a leftover from an earlier season, and there were too many out of character moments for comfort. To this day I am a little surprised it is a favorite. (I personally I thought FC was depressing, but if FC had been the first TNG movie, I probably would have wanted a little more 'closure' myself.)
**If you are curious - I don't want to get too far off of the thread topic - some comfort food episodes.
I watched Enterprise, "Carbon Creek," still a huge favorite, and "A Night In Sickbay" (pretty much anything with Billingsley works for me). And the chair episode, "Singularity" which I find extremely amusing; Reed & Trip make me cry tears of laughter watching this. (I realize the first two episodes have gotten scathing reviews from Jammer, but whether we disagree or not doesn't distract me from appreciating his superb writing.)
I also watched one of the best episodes of DS9, "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River." This is on my perpetual rewatch list. When I recall the episode, I generally think of Nog and how well his story is a blend of comedy and duty. And when I sit down to watch it, I remember the stunning and moving performances of Jeffrey Combs and René Auberjonois. Combs is incredibly convincing as the rogue Vorta. I was wiping tears away a few times.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 10:14am (UTC -5)
I tried to watch the first episode again but when Bev started vaporizing birdpeople with a phaser shotguns, I quit...
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 11:13am (UTC -5)
I'm guessing that Spiner had himself had something to do with Data's original death in Nemesis. He didn't anticipate that Data could exist as an old man without makeup in S3, or wasn't ready to make that compromise until later...assuming there was enough cash to sweeten the deal. In Picard S1, I reckon the deal was "okay, we get that you're done playing Data but all we're asking is a single 5 minute scene, and you get to play more Evil Soongs" and Spiner must really relish all the moustache-twirling or else he wouldn't be there in the first place, so he figured "well I'm already here, so fine.. why not."
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
I wouldn't go so far as to call it 'depressing', although I do wonder why it was necessary to kill off Picard's family, doesn't seem like it added much to the movie. That's the 'depressing' part but was thankfully only one scene.
I'd concur Generations is the closest they came to being "Real TNG", my issues with it:
1. It was lame to shoehorn Kirk into the story. He had a great sendoff in TUC and it was done for no reason at all except the studio was afraid nobody would show up without the original cast in it. The TNG cast should have been allowed to stand on their own. If you were gonna kill Kirk he deserved a way better ending than what he got. (See DS9's "Once More unto the Breach" for the proper way to kill off a beloved character)
2. It was lame to kill the Enterprise-D. It was even lamer to have her killed by an old rust bucket piloted by the Duras sisters via pure incompetence on the part of Riker/Worf/Data. (Riker forgot how to rotate shield frequencies, Worf forgot to do a security sweep on a returned prisoner, and Data forgot how to monitor for unauthorized transmissions)
3. They rushed the production so much (literally started shooting the day after "All Good Things" wrapped) they didn't have time to update the wardrobe, the lighting, or the sets. It's jarring to see when you watch the movie. Would have benefited from a few months break!
4. The Kirk/TOS scenes consumed runtime that could have been better spent with Guinan and Soran. It was essentially an El-Aurian story, would have been dope to flush out more of their backstory,
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 12:43pm (UTC -5)
I know it broke the design ethic of TNG/DS9/VOY and that's why it seems so jarring in the film, but in the real world, touchscreen EVERYTHING is often a step backwards. I strongly dislike cars that use the touchscreen for everything. Analog temperature, fan, and volume knobs can all be manipulated without taking your eyes off the road. It's safer, easier, and more intuitive.
Imagine if they went to the Star Trek extreme and replaced the steering wheel with a touchscreen. Nothing stops you from building a car like this but WHY would you? It'd be absolutely terrible to drive like that.
Aviation doesn't do it either and there you've got a computer flying the plane 99% of the time. Pilots still demand the yoke/stick for those times they take manual control. You ever try to play a flight sim without a joystick? :)
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 12:52pm (UTC -5)
"I disagree. The defining characteristic of NuTrek isn't haphazard plotting, bad pacing, and/or nostalgia bait - it's a fixation on psychology over philosophy. All the live-action shows are obsessed with individual identity and trauma, and 'Picard' is the worst offender. It contrives situations to pathologize its characters - Jean Luc has trouble connecting due to a troubled childhood, Seven becomes an outlaw after seeing her surrogate son brutally dissected, Raffi is an erratic junkie because Starfleet denied her the resources to investigate her conspiracy theories, Rios is dissatisfied with his life and struggles to fit in due to post-traumatic dysphoria, Shaw is an asshole as a result of PTSD from Wolf 359, Crusher abandons her friends to protect her son after losing Jack and Wesley, Riker is exceedingly cautious to avoid reliving the loss of Thaddeus, and Geordie is reluctant to help his old friends out of fear for his daughters' safety. Is it any wonder that Worf, one of the least pathologized characters in 'Picard', most resembles their earlier self? Now, sure, classic Trek examined these things as well, but they were always couched in larger, more abstract and universal ideas or queries about the human condition. NuTrek has little to no interest in this. The characters are smaller, pettier, less enlightening and aspirational."
Very well said. Could not agree more. +1,000,000
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Very perceptive point - makes a lot of sense. I think you're right.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 2:58pm (UTC -5)
'3. They rushed the production so much (literally started shooting the day after "All Good Things" wrapped) they didn't have time to update the wardrobe, the lighting, or the sets. It's jarring to see when you watch the movie. Would have benefited from a few months break!'
I've gone on record on this forum as confessing that I loved the uniform confusion in Generations, as it solved why DS9 and TNG had two different uniforms at the time (the in-universe explanation being that DS9 had the newer uniform first and it was rolled out throughout the fleet later) and, entirely superficially and sillily, it was simply wonderful to see some of the TNG cast in what were at the time DS9 uniforms.
I'm aware I'm probably the only one who thinks this way, though! I do agree generally that Generations would have benefitted from a little more prep time, of course. First Contact had much better aesthetic integrity and planning and was gorgeous to watch (if rather intentionally murky) and was much the better for it.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Very plausible. I agree.
Was it Spiner who suggested that Data be killed off in Nemesis? And didn't Spiner also want the ability to have Data express emotions way back around Generations, hence the emotion chip?
I haven't entirely liked what Stewart and Spiner have suggested doing with their characters. As has been mentioned here before many times, Stewart in particular has overall had a negative impact on the development of JL/Picardbot 2000 in PIC.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
'I tried to watch the first episode again but when Bev started vaporizing birdpeople with a phaser shotguns, I quit...'
Haha! We never did get an explanation for those ridiculous pump action phaser shotguns, did we?
No, because in NuTrek only the pew pew matters. It's the same with the attack on Spacedock - how many laser beams [sic, not phasers] can the producers insist on in one shot? I believe it's a televisual record in this episode.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Nostalgia enabled the RLM guys to regain their enthusiasm after years of abuse. To generalize from their experience, nostalgia is therapeutic for our species. It is a necessary capacity allowing us to recapture positive life aspects which were lost as a result of unwanted change."
What I love about this is that all of the praise that RLM showered upon Picard Season 3 could have been equally achieved if, instead of filming and releasing 10 episodes, Paramount had issued a corporate statement saying "As of now, events after 'All Good Things' affecting The Next Generation crew will no longer be considered part of the official Star Trek canon." Following the RLM arguments, we should all be equally happy and have 10 extra hours in our hands to spend with family and friends.
Have we all become adult children? Instead of brushing aside the films and shows we don't like, we apparently needed to actually SEE them retconned. We need to SEE some new showrunner rebuilding the ship, ressucitating the android and restoring the original Poker Ending Scene we all remembered fondly. Would it not be easier and cheaper to just enjoy the stories we enjoy and discard the rest?
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
"Would it not be easier and cheaper to just enjoy the stories we enjoy and discard the rest?"
Yes...we adult children should all face the truth that we have overdosed on the therapy. :)
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Matalas himself said his head canon had TNG end with 'All Good Things', largely because he disliked Kirk's death.
There's logic to that for sure. Personally I didn't head canon stuff after AGT, I was just left with the sad feeling that after that, TNG went downhill.
I guess it makes sense you should be happy with head canon-- and, lol, there are worse things to deal with as adults-- but at a gut level, you still want it to be 'official'. Otherwise, it's personal fan fiction.
Considering Matalas has a Trek rockstar reputation from S3 and his dislike of Kirk's death, I would bet money they're considering bringing Shatner's Kirk back. Shatner is still sharp as a tack and considering he recently literally went into space, he certainly seems able. I can only guess at 'willing', but he did enthusiastically agree to be in JJ's second Trek movie.
"It's the same with the attack on Spacedock - how many laser beams [sic, not phasers] can the producers insist on in one shot?"
It was a lot, but I think the episode did a pretty good job of having some Fancy Special Effects Shots but never letting them take it over. How many movies would have cut the 20 minute character focused coda in favor of 20 minutes of mind numbing excessive FX?
Generations and the uniforms-- it was a bit nutty how they seemed to randomly change. And Frakes was using either Brooks or Meaney's uniform and it was much too small. Ha. Yeah they really REALLY rushed that movie into production.
I actually liked Generations though about as much as First Contact. Maybe even a bit more.
They had spherical space explosions, that counts for a lot ;)
Certainly the TOS segments were whelming, as was Kirk's death. But mostly it was pretty good. I guess I didn't really expect a great Kirk demise. And while I didn't like the D being destroyed or who did it, it was done in a fairly spectacular way and actually largely honored physics' laws like 'inertia'.
I never saw Generations as depressing either, not at all.
Killing Picard's brother and nephew weren't really necessary, I guess, but it fit with the theme of family-- or having giving up a traditional family to be a captain of the Enterprise. Also family was the one thing the Nexus could truly tempt both Picard and Kirk with.
Fri, Apr 28, 2023, 8:09pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 3:41am (UTC -5)
But when it comes to actors that are too old to realistically be a driving force of cool stories in the future, then who cares? The awful Picard Season 1 and 2 still happened, Season 3 doesn't erase them. And "All Good Things" happened too, if I want that ending I can just go and rewatch it. What is the point of just recreating it to stick it at the end of everything? Can't we get something new for once?
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 4:42am (UTC -5)
No, I basically agree with you. I watched TOS before TNG aired and Kirk's demise didn't bother me that much.
Perhaps because at the time, this was actually a pretty good end for a legacy character.
Perhaps also because I was actually "happy" with Tasha's death. Every character dying a "heroic" death was already an ancient tired cliche trope in 1988.
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 5:23am (UTC -5)
'Perhaps also because I was actually "happy" with Tasha's death. Every character dying a "heroic" death was already an ancient tired cliche trope in 1988.'
Same here. It was a huge shock at the time and very emotional, even though in retrospect we had had very little time with Yar. Yar's sudden death was certainly one of the reasons why BOBW felt like it was high stakes - there was a genuine possibility that the TNG might have killed off other main cast members (yes, even Picard).
Fast forward to NuTrek and it's basically cameo snuff. Yar's death was devastating whereas the killing off of Hugh, Icheb et al is just repulsive, unnecessary and sadistic.
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 7:26am (UTC -5)
I've probably made this comment before, but I think Troi would have been more interesting if she showed some of the eccentricity of her mother (just to show how we can unavoidably develop the weird traits of our parents as we age).
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 9:17am (UTC -5)
I had a great time watching this season as many others did, it appears, and it was a delight to see the Enterprise-D bridge with the TNG crew. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the last two episodes and thrilled to be on their last ride.
That being said, I would not want Terry Matalas to helm another Trek season.
Season 2 and 3 of PIC did not adhere whatsoever to the famous Trek motto "To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before." There is absolutely nothing new in terms of exploration and worldbuilding to the Trek universe we already knew. Season 3 basically consumed nostalgia to its maximum, changelings, old characters being brought back, old ships, the Borg (really? three times in three seasons?).
As one commenter said in the previous two episodes, I would put Discovery's Season 4, and SNW's Season 1 (he also added two seasons of VOY) ahead of this one without hesitation in the way they adhered to Trek's motto and pushed the boundaries of exploration and new life and civilizations, etc.
This got me curious and I binged Disco's season 4 over three days for a rewatch (I also binged it originally which is a far better experience than week-to-week) and I found it to be a lot more Trek-y than PIC's season 3. I also enjoyed it just as much if not more as my first watch. I thus agree with those few comments from previous episodes that PIC offers nothing new and rides on the audience's appreciation and love built by TNG characters from 30 years ago.
Again, I enjoyed very much myself reuniting with those great characters (and I thought they acted even better than during TNG), but one season pretty much filled my nostalgia barometer. I do not need to feed on old characters and old foes anymore. Please give me more like Disco's Season 4 or SNW's Season 1.
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Basically if there is any place on the internet where it should be okay to use the term, it ought to be here.
Sat, Apr 29, 2023, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
“ No, because in NuTrek only the pew pew matters. It's the same with the attack on Spacedock - how many laser beams [sic, not phasers] can the producers insist on in one shot? I believe it's a televisual record in this episode.”
If the story was consistent Spacedock would have been shadow assimilated too, or at least had to deal with some firefights in the corridors, unless we’re supposed to believe Starfleet never posts any young/junior staff there. 🤔
Sun, Apr 30, 2023, 1:07am (UTC -5)
Sure, it started as a satirical term used by two writers for female fan fiction. Mary Sue characters were a way for adolescent women to have a heroic role which most stories didn't provide. In other words this fan fiction characterization was a form of self empowerment. So that you are not just the care lady or love interest but the term has since then morphed into a way for men to denigrate female characters.
TNG is a good example. Both Beverly and Troi were in care work and both were objects of desire for the captain and the first officer aka the men in charge. It was also likely no coincidence that TNG had a blonde, brown and red haired women.
Who would you identify with on TNG as a woman? DS9 was the first Trek show that had actual heroines. Maybe that is the reason that I do not care so much about Star Trek Picard going full nostalgia because TNG doesn't make me nostalgic.
Sun, Apr 30, 2023, 4:33am (UTC -5)
'The defining characteristic of NuTrek… a fixation on psychology over philosophy. All the live-action shows are obsessed with individual identity and trauma'
The same could be said for The Wrath of Khan. And I didn’t mind it there either.
It still feels to me like science fiction as a context for examining what makes people tick. Character driven dramas set on a space ship. I don’t think that’s an entirely new phenomenon in Trek, nor one that only started in the last few hears.
Sun, Apr 30, 2023, 6:53am (UTC -5)
Sun, Apr 30, 2023, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
I have a hard time believing that other actors just weren't available.
Sun, Apr 30, 2023, 1:28pm (UTC -5)
"The old Trek explored psychology, identity and trauma. It was just a lot more impersonal, more universal. I don't think I've learnt anything about Picard in Picard over its three seasons. I learnt more about him in the two hours of Generations, and Kirk too."
That's my take as well.
Featuring young people with trauma to attract audiences says a lot more about our culture than it does about Star Trek.
Sun, Apr 30, 2023, 6:48pm (UTC -5)
"TNG is a good example. Both Beverly and Troi were in care work and both were objects of desire for the captain and the first officer aka the men in charge."
"Care work"? Beverly was Chief Medical Officer on a huge starship. Kind of blowing her off there aren't you? She was a woman in charge.
And ... the way it was set up in pre-production, Beverly was meant to be an object of desire to Picard. However, the way it was actually played for a good deal of the run was Beverly was the one desiring Picard.
"It was also likely no coincidence that TNG had a blonde, brown and red haired women."
Perhaps, but so what? Most tv shows have good looking men and women unless there's a specific character reason otherwise.
Anyway, yes, "Mary Sue" has morphed mostly into a way to denigrate female characters. Which is annoying because the original meaning was useful.
The term vastly predates TNG, though (1973):
That includes the actual original parody article.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 12:43am (UTC -5)
Care work is a sociological term describing certain forms of work. Care work professions are far more often done by women and perceived as typically feminine in society.
Furthermore, both women on the show were given lots of feminine roles/traits. Beverly was also a mother, Troy's job was feeling what others feel. Both were wearing make up and of course did gymnastics together. Beverly and flowers, Troy and chocolate. Troy running around in a tight body suit. They were less characters and more like feminine archetypes. The caring mother and the emotional girlfriend. There is a video in which Marina Sirtis talks about bra she had to wear. She described it as industrial strength push up. ;)
"She was a woman in charge."
Well, if I remember correctly all the people she was in charge of, aka the medical staff, were women.
"However, the way it was actually played for a good deal of the run was Beverly was the one desiring Picard. "
Obviously. The women on the show are desirable but all also have to desire the men in charge who the male audience identifies with.
"Perhaps, but so what?"
I would argue that women compared to men are far more often chosen for their physical qualities then their acting abilities. Again Star Trek is a good example. This leads to numerous consequences.
In DS9 on the other hand we had for example Kira, a fairly masculine and strong willed women or Sisko as a single parent. DS9 really had the best characters of all Trek show. They were really challenging perceptions.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 2:04am (UTC -5)
Worf this hyper masculine warrior who Picard and Riker say no to and who gets beaten up constantly on one hand and Geordie the nerd who cannot get women and is constantly taken hostage. Kind of interesting when compared with Riker and Picard.
Worf being denied 1 million times
Worf gets his ass kicked
Mon, May 1, 2023, 2:25am (UTC -5)
I concur with your facts but still disagree with your implications. Even if we can understand the impetus behind the creation of the original Mary Sues within fanfiction and forgive it within that context, I'm not sure that means that we can't claim the term to describe a specific kind of bad writing or commonly recurring bad writing trope. Because as much as it's true that a reversal of stereotypes may be called for, if the writer overcorrects to reality-warping proportions then what you get is not a Major Kira, but a.. well, Mary Sue. This can also happen if they hasten to put the demands of an agenda before the needs of good storytelling and writing fundamentals (Critical Drinker's main argument), or if they get embroiled in the sort of conflict of interests inherent in self-insertion (Wesley). We're probably all in agreement that these teenage fanfic writers were no Tolstoys and should not be held to that standard, but that doesn't mean that the writing of professionals who should know better can't succumb to the same pitfalls. And that's where the term more rightfully applies.
We also agree that the term shouldn't be used as a catch all to denigrate women, nor should it apply ONLY to women. While I cannot deny that it hasn't been used too broadly or narrowly by some, there's an intuitive sense that most people have a shared understanding of what the term, when used properly, is really getting at which is divorced from those more insidious insinuations.
But yes, Troi and Crusher are nightmares from a postmodernist feminist perspective and a clear indication of obtuse males writing inadequate female characters. I don't think we need to choose between Mary Sues and Crushers though since, as you pointed out, we have Kiras which gets the balance just right. And we are living in a more enlightened age were it is not unreasonable or impossible to expect that more Kiras are yet to come, if not in Star Trek, then within many other cultural products.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 3:56am (UTC -5)
Thank you for your post. I really enjoyed reading it. In a few points I have a somewhat different view, though.
"This can also happen if they hasten to put the demands of an agenda..."
I think this sentence has to be set into context. There is no cultural product without an agenda, the problem is something else.
" and a clear indication of obtuse males writing inadequate female characters"
There are two points I want to make. First, what was done in several male oriented franchises was essentially taking a male trope and just make it female. Nobody had a problem with all those male super heroes/Jedi's/whatever. So I wouldn't call it an agenda, meaning writing in a certain way for some kind of goal, but just those same male writers being incapable of coming up with good female characters just in a different way. In other words the "Mary Sue" is just another version of failure, like Crusher, by the still mostly male writing teams to come up with good female characters.
The second point I have mentioned a while ago. Insults are often aimed at the minorities or women. Even insults for heterosexual men are often also insults to women like son of a b or "your mother is so and so". The point is that there is a strong tendency in societies by the dominant social group to put down other groups.
Many of the insults for women are sexual, mostly aimed at being promiscuous or sexually independent. The same behavior is often lauded in men.
The same characteristics apply to "Mary Sue's". That trope existed in male form for a long time but nobody came up with an insult for it. It was just seen as wish-fulfillment for boys and adolescent men. From James Bond to Indiana Jones. It reveals a power dynamic. If a men is good at almost anything and gets what he wants then that is fine. Boys playing heroes. But when the female version becomes more prominent it is turned into an insult.
Rey is an example that is often cited as a Mary Sue and Daisy Ridley got and endless amount of hate for it. Even though the Rey character is just female wish-fullfilment for young girls.
Wesley is a special case. I think it shows a misunderstanding of nerdy boys. They don't want to be the smartest guys because they often already are. They want to be cool and get the girl/be desirable. Wesley was not only an knowitall overachiever many nerdy kids probably try to get away from, he also had his mommy constantly around, even worked with her. That is why Wesley didn't work.
So while characters like Michael Burnham or Young Galadriel are fairly annoying. They are just failed attempts at creating female wishfulfillment. Still, the hate these characters received is going far beyond the level they deserved.
Sorry if that is all a little unfocused. I'm dieting and feel a little woozy. It's almost summer and I need my flat tummy back. To find me a nice guy... like Steven Crowder. What a charmer. He knows how to treat the ladies. Especially the pregnant ones.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 3:57am (UTC -5)
Projecting a 21st century identity politics analysis back to 1987-2001 will obviously always score some hits, but it will also always strongly misrepresent a great deal of what was going on and how it was intended at the time.
@Booming is partly correct about the 'care worker' roles awarded to Crusher and Troi but omits to mention that Tasha Yar was chief of security (and that she was originally to be played by Sirtis) for the first season until she was given nothing to do and the actress walked (and later regretted it).
Crusher as chief medical officer as intended as female empowerment because McCoy had been male, but was famously also given short shrift by the writers and ostracised by Maurice Hurley, whereupon she was replaced for one season by another female chief medical officer, again at least partly to show that women could be high-ranking officers (head of Starfleet Medical, ring a bell?). (We at least got 'Remember Me', one of TNG's best episodes.)
Troi was ubdoubtedly intended as an exotic sex symbol, just as Seven of Nine infamously was, and many of us much preferred to see both Troi and Seven in a more appropriate blue Starfleet uniform when we finally got the chance. Troi's 'Imzadi' relationship with Riker was not intended as a one-way 'object of desire' trope but rather a will-they, won't-they soap opera style former lovers working together approach, which again the writers didn't know what to do with so it was largely shelved until the films.
Picard was written as a stern patrician in S1 and S2 and it was clear that the audience was meant to respect him as a figure of intellectual authority rather than that impressionable young men were intended to want to be him so they could fancy Beverly Crusher.
The gymnastics in the hallway scene with Crusher and Troi, as well as the useless damsels portrayal of Crusher and Troi in the Robin Good Q episode, were embarrassing and regressive at the time.
Dorn was an example of Klingon inclusion (humanisation of the enemy) rather than black empowerment and only occurred because Crosby stepped down. LaForge's ineptitude with women reflected the commonly idea that nerds (who at the time had no covert prestige, unlike 'geek culture' today) were all pathetic virgins with no social skills despite their brain power, rather than the actor's race.
DS9 had the fewest female main cast members of any Berman era Trek series. Kira was meant to be Ro (i.e. not a new character) until Forbes said no and Dax had been a man several times. @Booming I also distinctly recall that you disliked the casting of Farrell as Dax because she had been a model, which struck me as a very weak and petty criticism of her.
@Booming is on slightly firmer ground regarding sexism and racism and VOY specifically because I distinctly remember the Daily Mail in particular trying and failing to whip up a frenzy against VOY for being so 'politically correct' (the term flung about back then) because it had a female captain, a black Vulcan, and a Native American on the bridge. It was a silly criticism back then as well, and didn't receive much traction.
It is quite interesting that given that she was the first female captain Janeway was, it is often said, so badly written. I always put it down to the writers not having a clue about consistency but perhaps it was just intentional sexism. I'd be interested to hear your views on this, @Booming. (Incidentally, I think we can do without the misogynistic 'girlboss' nonsense from earlier in this thread - Seven would make a great captain, but the in-universe explanation and the inclusion of Raffi and Jack 'no' Crusher on the bridge made no sense.)
Finally, in connection with this, Gene Rodenberry himself had some rather unusual sexual proclivities that informed how he saw, created and wrote women and women's expected interactions with men, and he was in a position to put his own sexual desires on screen in a way that were often uncomfortable for the audience. One should not presume that the audience were uncritically supportive of Rodenberry's infidelity and free love fantasies simply because they watched Trek.
I could probably reminisce for hours about how things actually were in the 1980s and 1990s but that will do for now.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 4:03am (UTC -5)
Mon, May 1, 2023, 4:29am (UTC -5)
"ut it will also always strongly misrepresent a great deal of what was going on and how it was intended at the time."
I disagree with this statement. I'm not condemning TNG for what it was but it was certainly not challenging gender norms.
I think nobody here is not aware of Yar. ;) While she certainly was challenging norms she was also a rape victim which is the opposite of empowerment. They also didn't got another somewhat similar female character but replaced her with a men which left us with Crusher and Troy. As you correctly point out. None of the women got really interesting stories.
About Terry Farrell, yes I disliked her being cast, like Jery Ryan or Jolene Blalock. They were all cast for their looks but Farell really stands out because Dax as a character was very interesting and Farell was not up to the task. With Ryan and Blalock they at least gave those fairly weak actors appropriate material. Even though it didn't work for Blalock.
About Janeway, I was never a fan of Voyager. I found the characters bland and a while after Jery Ryan entered the show I stopped watching it. Kate Mulgrew is a great actor so it wasn't that. I think at the time the mostly male writers had no idea how to write powerful women. As I mentioned in the post above, male writers seem to fall back to male tropes to portray powerful women which often feels out of place.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 4:30am (UTC -5)
Mon, May 1, 2023, 4:37am (UTC -5)
I can get behind the argument that a show/movie should be judged in context. Like, from our point of view it might be sexist but at the time it was progressive. The problem is I don't think TNG did that when it comes to gender norms.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 5:02am (UTC -5)
"There is no cultural product without an agenda."
I don't think we need to argue there for me to emphasize that I see it as a problem of improper prioritization (story should always come first in a story because it's a story and not a real-world campaign) and not one in which any and all agendas need to be uprooted from the story. I also wouldn't put too fine a point on associating Mary Sues with "agendas" because I tried to show that they can emerge from a variety of rationales, motivations and deficiencies. Regardless of the root cause, they all evoke the same visceral annoyance and eyerolls in the audience, which bad writing of the garden variety doesn't do so consistently.
"So I wouldn't call it an agenda, meaning writing in a certain way for some kind of goal, but just those same male writers being incapable of coming up with good female characters just in a different way."
Again, I don't think we actually disagree here if this is in response to my calling Crusher's male writers obtuse, because that's implicit in what I said.
"That trope existed in male form for a long time but nobody came up with an insult for it. It was just seen as wish-fulfillment for boys and adolescent men."
You could be right about how it ties into some sort of marginalization. Or it could be a complete coincidence -- not least because women had first dibs at using it as an insult. I guess I don't really care to dig my heels in any further speculation since I think there's a need to separate good wish-fulfillment from bad, and hey, now we got one (better late than never) and it rolls off the tongue so much better than a "failed attempt at creating wish fulfillment".
Mon, May 1, 2023, 5:14am (UTC -5)
Beverly Crusher was a Barbie Doll in TNG.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 5:46am (UTC -5)
'I disagree with this statement.'
Projecting 21st century identity politics back to the 1980s will inevitably re-write and wilfully distort history to create an eye of the beholder re-telling in which desirable or undesirable values are present or absent as required for the purposes of online argument.
I feel my original post explained almost everything I felt was relevant. I specifically agree with you that TNG reflected, as one would expect, embodied the attitudes of its time, and the attitudes of its creator, writers and producers in particular. Some of these attitudes were progressive for the time, some were not (and yes, we were aware of it at the time). Some are still progressive, some are not.
You will not find a 21st century programme that perfectly aligns with all the demands of 21st century identity politics, and it is a fool's errand to expect that a show made in 1987 can therefore fulfil the socio-political expectations of a 2023 audience.
There are quite a lot of futile rabbit hole debates one can end up indulging in if one insists that 1987 should be 2023. And in 2059, one will be claiming 2023 was backward and regressive and demanding that 2023 be judged by the attitudes of 2059. It is an unwinnable position.
'Like, from our point of view it might be sexist but at the time it was progressive. The problem is I don't think TNG did that when it comes to gender norms.'
Yes, I specifically agree with you that TNG was not generally particularly progressive in its portayal of women, even for the time. TOS initially had a female first officer (who, if I recall, was subject to sexist remarks from Pike). That said, TNG was designed specifically to improve on specific aspects of TOS, rather than to embody the most progressive aspects of 1987 per se. Did it work? Yes and no. It depends what kinds of representation matter most at any given time.
'About Terry Farrell, yes I disliked her being cast, like Jery Ryan or Jolene Blalock. They were all cast for their looks but Farell really stands out because Dax as a character was very interesting and Farell was not up to the task.'
I strongly disagree about Farrell's acting ability. You are right about the motive behind the casting choices and the sexist treatment they received, of course, that is indisputable. Luckily the three actresses you name - Ryan in particular - were all excellent. Ryan and Blalock (and Sirtis) were incidentally subject to a lot more demeaning sexualisation than Farrell, Visitor and McFadden. I hated ENT for the repugnant voyeurism it forced on its audience in the decontamination scenes with Blalock, and VOY did a complete disservice to Ryan who nevertheless rose above it at all and consistently delivered one of Trek's best characters.
Which brings me to:
'I was never a fan of Voyager. I found the characters bland and a while after Jery Ryan entered the show I stopped watching it.'
This is very unfortunate for you, as Ryan was brilliant. Seven in VOY is nothing like the broken violent alcoholic you see in PIC. Would recommend you give it a go.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 5:54am (UTC -5)
'Beverly Crusher was a Barbie Doll in TNG.'
Funny you should mention this, because in our discussions about projecting 21st century identity politics back to the 1980s, my mind always ends up back at 'The Naked Now' - an episode that I absolutely despise on a number of levels mainly because it's one of Rodenberry's notorious 'how can I get my fascination for orgies on to prime time television and get away with it' dick moves.
Anyway, in this episode, Data is actually used as a sex doll by Yar (who, as @Booming rightly reminds us, spent her youth dodging rape gangs). There's evidently meant to be a message here, but it's always disturbed me trying to work out what it is.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 5:55am (UTC -5)
Deanna Troi, as political officer, is by far the most powerful person on the ship:
Before anyone flips out, it's meant tongue in cheek. It's an old joke, but it actually does make a creepy amount of sense:
Why in the world is a literal mind reader stationed next to the captain on the bridge? 99% of the time, her observations are quite obvious. How well would her mind reading work on random aliens anyway?
Her presence on the bridge, next to the captain-- while wearing a conspicuously relaxed non "officer" outfit-- makes a whole lot more sense if her real purpose is to read the captain's mind and make sure he sticks with the Party's program.
Again, nobody freak out, it's just an old joke.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 6:01am (UTC -5)
Sorry, I was inappropriate.
It just seems like you're overly nitpicking a character that was actually very strong for 1987. And Beverly's presence probably helped pay the way for later characters like Kira.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 6:14am (UTC -5)
It's fairly indisputable that the writers and producers of TNG did not prioritise McFadden or Sirtis, and that Crusher and Troi were underdeveloped.
There's a sad clip that was posted on here a week or so ago of Sirtis getting excited filming Generations because she'll finally be allowed to 'drive the ship' (which of course turned into a running joke). Even when Troi was given command she is famously portrayed as clueless and incompetent, and she only takes the commander course relatively late in TNG's run.
Crusher is largely ignored by the writers or given patronising dreck like 'Sub Rosa'. 'Remember Me' is one of my absolute favourite Trek episodes and it's nice that it's a Crusher episode but it could have been any TNG character in focus.
I don't care much for PIC but Beverly is also sidelined fairly quickly in S3 as well, apart from being depicted as a shooting-to-kill incubator for the real main character of PIC and his father who is incredible at keeping secrets/grudges. I found that quite sexist.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 6:30am (UTC -5)
I strongly object to describing Kira as 'masculine' as that suggests that masculinity and femininity are a set of restrictive, rigid and largely patronising/negative stereotypes to which both sexes are inevitably consigned and limited. I absolutely disagree with this.
Kira is a strong commander both in the resistance and the militia and was highly respected as such. Calling her 'masculine' suggests that women can't or shouldn't be tough, or they take on male attributes. As if female warriors ipso facto cease to be female. It is very regressive.
Kira is a fantastic role model for both sexes, because she is good at what she does (the same way TNG Picard was a fantastic role model for both sexes, because he was good at what he did). That hardly makes her manly.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 7:03am (UTC -5)
Most of the recent comments all have valid points. Just wanted to say that I pretty much agree 100% with you @Booming
Carry on 🙂
Mon, May 1, 2023, 8:00am (UTC -5)
As others wrote Crusher is just fairly bland middle of the road and had very few interesting episodes. I don't mean that she was regressive or anything.
"I strongly object to describing Kira as 'masculine' as that suggests that masculinity and femininity are a set of restrictive, rigid and largely patronising/negative stereotypes to which both sexes are inevitably consigned and limited. I absolutely disagree with this."
I don't see masculine or feminine fixed to men or women. Masculine and feminine to me are opposite points to a spectrum of behaviors. A man can be feminine and a woman can be masculine. Furthermore, we all are not at the same point on that spectrum. Sometimes one is more feminine, sometimes more masculine.
Kira is masculine but not manly. She had to be rough and confrontational to survive the occupation. I liked it when Dax took her to the Holosuite and she felt completely out of place and was even a downer but Dax cruised right past that and motivated Kira to try new things.
I also wouldn't say that somebody who is feminine cannot be a strong leader. I really like the first two seasons of Borgen, a very good depiction of politics. The lead is pretty feminine and still a great leader.
But, while I have done quite a bit of research about care work, I know fairly little about the masculine feminine spectrum. So this might all be nonsense or as you say even borderline regressive. I'm going to reflect on that.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 12:14pm (UTC -5)
On Troi and Crusher being boxed in the "social care" stereotype, I fully agree with you. It is 100% true that these characters weren't pushing the envelope AT THE TIME. It's pretty telling to hear McFadden and Sirtis think bank on these roles and the type of stuff they remark upon (eg. the bras, the uniforms) compared to what Nana Visitor retells as being surprising about her character (the fact that it read as a very ungendered role). So DS9 in 1993 was more successful in breaking away from the male gaze than TNG in 1987, even though the bar was much higher, which speaks poorly of TNG in this respect.
Analyzing the work in its context is crucial if we are to do a political read of it. The kiss between Kirk and Uhura had to overcome big pressure from executives to be aired. By contrast, Discovery being lead by a black woman and including trans characters was championed and advertised by the corporation producing the show. These aren't irrelevant facts. And while progressives initially dismissed claims that there were new "rules" in Hollywood writing, I think now it is undeniable that these exist and are being enforced (women can't be rescued by men or depend on them, minorities can't be portrayed as fully evil etc.). So the issue isn't just that female characters are being botched by repurposing bad tropes traditionally applied to men, but also that the ultimate drive behind it is corporate neoliberalism protecting its commercial interests.
Which is why I think the term "Mary Sue" is a valuable one, but only in its original context: One of self-insertion into an existing IP, which is precisely how corporations are trying to milk old products by opening them up to new markets. Burnham and Rey would likely be hated by a big cohort of sexists, but what has made these characters ultimately fail is how they have been forcefully linked to old beloved ones (Burnham being a secret Spock sister who is the reason for his friendship with Kirk, Rey being more powerful than all the legacy chacaters and unilaterally declaring herself a Skywalker). People can instinctively tell the hidden hand of corporate greed manipulating them.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
'I personally find the masculine/feminine framework pretty regressive, but it is also one that has been championed by the weakest strata of society (the trans community) and thus we find ourselves with a political paradox.'
Stereotyping behaviours and expectations rigidly into 'pink' and 'blue' categories and insisting that if you didn't conform to one you must turn yourself into the other used to be considered profoundly regressive, but here we are.
Some of us can still recall a time long ago when one could be profoundly inspired by or identify with a character who was the opposite sex, or of a different race, culture, class or [insert any other category] background to one's own, without it being in any way 'problematic'. In fact it was quite normal, and actually something to aspire to. Content of character kind of stuff, actually.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 2:30pm (UTC -5)
Mon, May 1, 2023, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
"It's fairly indisputable that the writers and producers of TNG did not prioritise McFadden or Sirtis, and that Crusher and Troi were underdeveloped. "
Don't disagree with y'all on this point. Geordi's character was fairly underdeveloped too. Wesley got more of an arc than Geordi, Crusher, or Troi.
For character evolution, most to least, I'd rate the main cast:
Some of these are so close they might as well be ties, Picard/Data, and Geordi/Troi.
"Crusher is largely ignored by the writers or given patronising dreck like 'Sub Rosa'. 'Remember Me' is one of my absolute favourite Trek episodes and it's nice that it's a Crusher episode but it could have been any TNG character in focus."
She also got "The High Ground", "The Host", and "Suspicions" which were almost exclusively Beverly stories. Suspicions is my favorite story about her, although "Remember Me" is a very close second.
There's also "Attached", she shares the lead role there with Picard and it's ultimately about the two of them. More episodes than I can count where she wasn't the primary story but significant for the episode, like, "Ethics."
Troi didn't get nearly as many exclusive stories.
Geordi had even less, if memory serves, although maybe tied with Troi for character the writers most frequently forgot about.
"Even when Troi was given command she is famously portrayed as clueless and incompetent, and she only takes the commander course relatively late in TNG's run."
I rather hated Troi and Crusher serving in command roles. In the real world they'd be what the United States Navy calls a "Restricted Line Officer" and would not be allowed nowhere near command. Ro should have assumed command in "Disaster", not Troi. The truly absurd/stupid example was "Descent" where Picard volunteers himself to search some sensor blind planet with his Mark I Human Eyeball and gives command to the CMO, because..... story reasons, don't think about it too hard. :)
I know, it's a conceit of television, to give the characters something to do, but it's still silly.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
Yeah, it never bothered me Deanna was portrayed as incompetent in command when she was literally never trained for it.
Regarding Beverly, I actually liked Pulaski when she replaced Beverly in season 2. Other than Pulaski's disastrous Data hating, she got some much better and meatier material than Beverly in season 1.
Partly that's comparing a season 2 character to a season 1 character.
But I always liked Beverly a lot.
I guess what I was arguing is Beverly seemed to me a very good role model in 1987 and seems like a very good one now. I wasn't trying to say she was breaking through glass ceilings or progressive or whatever.
Mon, May 1, 2023, 8:16pm (UTC -5)
Agreed about Data. If he was brought back to the screen, he should have been actually brought back. I was happy that he finally was back and take this season as the continuation of the TNG/TNG movie story. I wish the writers from the Bermon/Braga era could do Star Trek again.
And good point about the F. I still think the Enterprise E (Picard’s last command) should have been the final reveal as the Enterprise at the end of the show, and am slightly annoyed the show runners seemed oblivious to how absent the actual last real Enterprise (a beautiful ship in my view) has been. I don’t have anything against the Titan and thought it looked particularly decent during the extraction run from Daystrom, but it doesn’t look like a successor ship for the Enterprise name when you look at the evolution of starships over time. It looks like a jump backward 150 years and hell takes away from the lineage of the Titan! I’d have been all right if the Enterprise F was the new Enterprise IF the E had been also been restored and retired with dignity at the Fleet museum, otherwise I feel she should have been given one last hurrah on screen.
Where was Admiral Janeway and the Voyager doctor and crew in all this?
The music when the F was briefly shown was quite nice to be fair though I wish they’d named the NX-01 and Captain Archer by name (i.e. Enterprise).
Mon, May 1, 2023, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
100%. It feels bittersweet to have seen the old TNG crew, have had a decent soundtrack and yet not have seen the last Enterprise - the Enterprise E - on screen! Feels like a massive missed opportunity.
Had the ship been restored and been the reveal at the end, that would have been perfect.
Alternatively, it could have had a refit and had a new bridge that resembled the bridge of its predecessor, thereby giving the best of both worlds (pun intended). So close to perfection, yet the writers just didn’t show the ship at all. The Titan should have stayed the Titan, the shuttle view continues to pan to the ship behind and the “reveal” is either the Enterprise E, or (having shown us the Enterprise E as the ship on Frontier Day now being restored at the Fleet Museum) the Enterprise F.
Missed opportunity and seems like they forgot about the last Enterprise on the big screen?!
Mon, May 1, 2023, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
That was awesome - About Deanna Troi being a political officer, I couldn’t stop laughing. That must be how the Federation expanded and consolidated so quickly.
Fleet Admiral: “But President Janeway asks the impossible. I need more Captains and Starships.”
Federation Councillor Vader: “Perhaps I can find new ways to… motivate them. This is Counsellor Troi. She will be stationed on the Enterprise. Inform Captain Picard of her arrival.”
(Later) - Troi: “Here are our orders Captain. We are to patrol the Neutral Zone.”
Picard: “This seems like a poor use of time for my ship Counsellor.”
Troi: “Your ship Captain? This ship belongs to the People of the Soviet… (pauses)… United Federation of Planets.”
Mon, May 1, 2023, 11:18pm (UTC -5)
A future we have to fear, understand and decide, may we learn from our mistakes.
Then an alien race will take a humble approach to meet humanity.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 12:08am (UTC -5)
The funny thing about Deanna being a political officer... it was not intended, as shown with Deanna's extensive backstory onscreen.
But that could also be read as an unusually richly developed political officer. ;)
Star Trek: Deanna Troi
I've been rewatching Voyager and TNG. This season of PIC has spiced rewatchings up a bit.
One thing that stood out in particular...
The lighting. Personally, I have barely noticed lighting since the E took the screen. No offense to E lovers, to me it had a very dark bridge, not my preference.
But being aware of that and watching old shows, it looks like Voyager's bridge was a good compromise. It has more subtle lighting than the D bridge but doesn't feel like you'll trip over picking your own nose.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 12:25am (UTC -5)
Thanks for the important reminder about Geordi also having been neglected by the writers, alongside Troi and Crusher. You are right that Crusher had a far better selection of focus episodes than either LaForge or Deanna, even though Crusher was away for a whole season.
I wonder if the impression that Crusher was more sidelined than she actually was was because she was not on the bridge (unlike Troi, who was nearly always present even if she had nothing to do). There would more often be a cut to Geordi in Engineering than there would be to Crusher in sick bay (even if it was brief), giving the sense that Troi and LaForge were more involved in the action than Beverly.
'I rather hated Troi and Crusher serving in command roles [etc].'
'Yeah, it never bothered me Deanna was portrayed as incompetent in command when she was literally never trained for it.'
Good points. As far as I can recall - correct me if I'm wrong, as I may well be - but Troi's actual rank and place in the pecking order was very unclear until well into TNG. I'm struggling to remember any discussion of her actual rank before Jellico. The command role/course came after that. It's all rather hazy though.
'But I always liked Beverly a lot. I guess what I was arguing is Beverly seemed to me a very good role model in 1987 and seems like a very good one now. I wasn't trying to say she was breaking through glass ceilings or progressive or whatever.'
Yes, I think this is a fair summary. Being the chief medical officer on the flagship is definitely a high status role, particularly given that in TOS women were only depicted as nurses assisting male doctors.
TOS initially had a female first officer but Rodenberry wanted to shoehorn the Decker/Illia relationship into TNG so er got Riker and Troi. At the same time Picard was intended to be a more mature captain than Kirk had been so the Kirk swashbuckler attitude was somewhat delegated to the Riker character. So TNG was still heavily beholden to some sixties and seventies character planning.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 1:10am (UTC -5)
'I wish the writers from the Bermon/Braga era could do Star Trek again.'
Absolutely! I would have loved it if each episode of PIC had been written by one or more of the legion of writers from the Berman era. The characters would been much better written.
I'd add that I would have really liked to have seen the Trek cast directing an episode each (beyond just Frakes). I think virtually all of them have directing credits at this point - some prolifically so. Failing that even getting some of the Berman era directors back in.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 1:45am (UTC -5)
Her rank was first established in “Disaster” as Lt. Commander.
The “pecking order”, such as it was, was purely about rank. In the real world it would not be, Troi, Crusher, and Geordi would almost certainly be ineligible for command outside of their respective specialties.
TNG got this right in Season 1, “The Arsenal of Freedom” when Geordi (then a bridge/command officer) refused to relinquish command to the Chief Engineer (then someone else) who held a higher rank. It was forgotten about in later seasons though.
Troi on the bridge never bothered me, it made sense in the context of exploration/diplomacy, but she shouldn’t have been part of the command structure.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 2:35am (UTC -5)
Tue, May 2, 2023, 3:11am (UTC -5)
Bear in mind this is entirely from memory, and I haven't had time to double check. May be wrong.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 3:55am (UTC -5)
Barf. Congrats, you've ruined sci-fi with your post-modern negativity and narcissism. .
Tue, May 2, 2023, 11:19am (UTC -5)
She's still not a command officer. In that scenario it would likely have been Ensign Ro that took command of the bridge/ship.
Now, perhaps Ro isn't a command officer either, show was hazy on those details, but in "Disaster" it comes down to purely rank. Nobody talks about specialities, command tests, etc., and that's not how it works in the real world. A medical or engineering officer could not take command of a warship so long as one or more unrestricted line officers remained fit to take command, even if the medical/engineering officer outranked them on paper.
That said, Crusher _could_ command a hospital/medical ship because that's within her speciality. Troi probably could too, although the show seemed to treat her differently than Crusher and was a little fuzzy on who she reported to (logically it'd be Crusher but in the show it seemed to be Picard)
I can't think of a episode in USN history where a restricted line officer took command of a warship. I thought I recalled it on USS San Francisco after Guadalcanal but in looking up her story learned it was a bridge officer (this guy: https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/us-people/m/mccandless-bruce.html) who assumed command. He did work hand-in-hand with the damage control officer, who may have been restricted, to see her through the engagement and its aftermath, so that might be what I'm remembering.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 11:28am (UTC -5)
And to think, he started it all by getting two of his friends in podcasting (Shane and Brian @ The Popcast) to basically convert their channel over to praising PIC S3. They started multiple petitions (even trying to force competing ones to close), policed chatrooms of other channels, and made videos targeting the few critics of PIC S3. To put things in perspective, these are the guys who live on camera compared Terry Matalas leadership and team skills to "presidents and great leaders throughout history."
Matalas other step was securing enough "early viewing" passes to blanket the major influencers. Critical Drinker, Dave Cullen, Nerdrotic, Robert Meyer Burnett (a more subservient slime is difficult to fathom), all were drawn in by memberberries and registered thumbs up. Then, their audiences got on board. Much of this happened before episode 1 EVEN AIRED! So the creator class had now been drawn in to commit to an opinion that their audience quickly mirrored, thus capturing them.
If Star Trek Legacy does happen, there is little doubt Jeri Ryan will figure prominently if Matalas runs it. She mumbled something about knowing him "since the makeup chairs on Voyager", and it is very clear she orbits him closely. If there is a Matalas panel appearance, 90% chance Jeri Ryan is there as well. Can we listen to Jeri Ryan's Seven give tryhard orders for an entire season of Legacy? Ehhhhhh... I think it gets boring by ep 3.
Interesting times at Paramount Plus and Kurtzman land. A few decisions here and there may have major effects long into the future. The return of Michelle Yeoh in some form is fantastic, and may just be the alternative needed to send Matalas back to the mailroom where he belongs.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Tue, May 2, 2023, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
The sole category it beats DS9 in is production values.
Anecdotally, none of my friends in meatspace loved it. None of them hated it, nor do I hate it, the general consensus is, "Meh."
The social media praise feels like rigged algorithms and bought off reviewers to me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
At least we have Strange New Worlds, although, with the writer's strike I won't be watching it. We don't cross picket lines in our household and will be cancelling all streaming services as they come up for renewal with that as the reason why, unless they somehow work it out in the next few days. 🤞🏻
Tue, May 2, 2023, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Tue, May 2, 2023, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Tue, May 2, 2023, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
I still have not been able to bring myself to bother with a rewatch of the final episode, and that saddens me; I really wanted this to be something special. Perhaps if it were part of a happy childhood, I'd have different take. From my perspective, I gave up on television in 1985 after a whole childhood full of visualized garbage and phony representations of humans. Terry's TNG Lost Generation has far less appeal to me than old episodes of DS9 and Enterprise.
I used to sometimes watch YouTube commentators like Nerdrotic and Critical Drinker, and I'm grateful that these guys were so arrogant that they reviewed the entire 10 episode series before it even started. It was an open secret that Terry distributed the first six episodes, but Nerdrotic and others mentioned that they were able to illegally download all 10 episodes from torrenting. I'm not sure that they realized it, but people who really wanted to enjoy the surprise (and not break the law) might be avoid their YouTube channels for a while.
It's fortunate that Terry's scheme revealed these people for the paid shills they are. I turned on one of their broadcasts earlier today only to find a popular YouTuber who released a documentary begging people to "go to Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes! and leave a review, you can even copy and paste reviews!" - as well as a watch party so he can explain his movie. He doesn't read my criticism, haha. Anyone who needs to sit down and explain their movie to me failed to make a reasonably good movie. But begging people to copy and paste reviews is the antithesis of the high ground that the right wing comic book / gamer YouTubers believe they have.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
I though season 3 was an upgrade, fan service used as pertinently as possible and not just for the sake of making a scene , like Kurtzman Trek is so good at doing. Respect was shown to each character of the cast, this is what everyone wanted from the get go, and I think the fan praise online comes from the fact it took 2 seasons and someone over at Paramount (yes Terry Matalas) who listened .....and probably gave us something close of an iteration of a send off show.
So while some here grumble that Matalas molested their childhood or their inner being, take this season for actually being some decent, noticeable, Trek, something we probably hadn't had in a long time . Overall I give it a
7/ 10, it was a good popcorn limited series format show. I had no problem with Star Trek being Star Wars (EN -D going in that cube), because they are good at it , see DS9 , and Star Wars is actually bad at being Star Trek.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
My problem isn't that my childhood was molested (boy, that's an overstatement, haven't seen anyone HERE complain to that degree, lol!) but rather that I dispute your claim this is "decent, noticeable, Trek".
It's not. This is just memberberries. I appreciate it as a better sendoff for the crew than Nemesis but I had hoped for better.
Contrast it to The Undiscovered Country. It's a pretty unfavorable comparison. That movie was a political allegory about coming to terms with enemies, forgiveness for past crimes, aging/mortality, betrayal, and geopolitics.
There's nothing in Picard S3 with that kind of heft. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Tue, May 2, 2023, 7:27pm (UTC -5)
Picard reports to Troi ;)
That's why Troi being a political officer is so funny. It really does explain the oddities of the character better than the official story.
Actually, though, Troi/Riker/Data all originated BEFORE The Motion Picture. They were Ilia, Decker and Xon in Star Trek: Phase II.
Perhaps what helped TNG be so successful is that these characters were in development for nearly a decade. (Though, that's not fully convincing considering Troi and Riker were considered weaker characters.)
I have no idea if Ryan would sign up to play Seven in a spin-off, but she's been in 3 seasons of Picard.
Seven continues to have considerable star power. She definitely could be a very interesting ship captain. Because of her stoic nature, she kind of resembles Picard himself.
But her lover can't be her XO. That's just zany. It sounds like the premise of a porno.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
I am extremely skeptical any Internet reviewer/influencer/etc. who gets advance access to a production/product can be counted on to give a fair/objective review. That might see the gravy train cut off, meaning less views/ad dollars, and no bragging to all your friends how awesome you are.
At least when I disagree with Jammer I know he’s not rating something highly because he was paid to do so. He suffered right along with the rest of us plebs during the bad old days when CBS imploded under the demand.
Not even sure a professional reviewer with advance access can be trusted these days. Maybe if they’re with some huge publication the studio wouldn’t retaliate against, but let’s be real, how many advance reviews (amateur or professional) have you read that weren’t totally obsequious?
Tue, May 2, 2023, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
I don’t think Troi deserves the hate/disrespect/whatever you wanna call it from elements of the fandom.
Setting aside the bunny suit (which they finally got her out of, shame Voyager and Enterprise regressed here!) and disservice she got in a few episodes, I saw nothing wrong with the character.
The best episodes saw her working hand in hand with Picard and others in diplomatic/first contact missions. There are more than a few examples of the character treated professionally. I can also name first contact episodes in DS9 and Voyager where the heroes would have benefited from someone like her character on staff. :)
The collective “we” (fans/production staff/Gene himself) owe Sirtis more than a few apologies for the bunny suits, that’s one of the few things about TNG that has not aged well, but there’s a compelling character under the bunny suit if you look for it. 🤷🏻♂️
Riker, not sure how you can say the dude “Best of Both Worlds” was about (it’s ultimately a Riker story) had a weak character, but that’s a different discussion and wall of text, lol.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Exactly. It would have been wonderful if the Berman/Braga era writers had been given the lead for the story and writing. Star Trek needs that creative talent back. Frakes directing would have been golden too yes. I still think the last TNG Enterprise (the E) needs to appear in order to make it complete. The music was well done.
I think Voyager probably had the best happy medium between lighting and decor on the Bridge. Give us an Enterprise E with a refitted Voyager style bridge and carpets. The floors need to have lighter carpets.
They could have made the Excelsior the Odyssey class ship.
I also thought they should have referenced the NX-01 during the Frontier Day ceremony directly as the first Enterprise captained by Archer.
Regarding the Betazoid political officer’s purple outfits, I thought they were rather wonderful personally.
Tue, May 2, 2023, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
It's not meant to be disparaging to Troi, she was (and is) a curious character to be sitting on the bridge beside the captain.
I was 17 in 1987 and wow, I don't even know what I thought. Probably nothing more than the bridge crew seemed rather weird. We had vastly little TV sci-fi in those days.
I do recall my reactions to Riker and Picard. It pretty well echoes what occurred onscreen. Picard, at first, seemed like a doddering old man and get rid of that guy, Riker is MUCH better.
That's close to what literally happened. Picard was written originally as an older man while Riker was the Kirk, running around on missions, dalliances left and right.
Of course, in the fullness of time, Picard was retooled into being his own kind of hero and Riker receded.
Now, lol it's just weird, this whole crew is beloved. Not a dig in the slightest, but when a crew's signature shot is everyone sitting at a conference table... that's rather unique, isn't it?
Tue, May 2, 2023, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
But Frakes has been thrilling as Riker this season. I mean dayum. Right out of the park.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 2:55am (UTC -5)
'The collective “we” (fans/production staff/Gene himself) owe Sirtis more than a few apologies for the bunny suits, that’s one of the few things about TNG that has not aged well'
Now, now. 'The fans' weren't responsible for putting Sirtis in that ridiculous and demeaning get-up, and many of us wanted to see Troi in the proper blue uniform. Alas, we had no say about it either way whatsoever. (Same with Seven.)
I do agree that *the producers* could apologise for it, though, for all that it would matter. (Again, same with Seven.) There's long been a photoshop doing the rounds in which all the male cast are dressed in Troi's bunny suit and it really drives home how glaringly sexist it was.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Looks like we have a writer's strike... Hrm.
I have no doubt they are getting screwed, but it seems like Hollywood could literally stop making new stuff for a couple decades or more and few would notice.
It's a pretty obvious economic problem, the need to create new content in a world with an ever increasing massive backlog.
That DOES suggest a reason old shows and movies are deemed horrible ism and ist fests. They must be condemned to justify and demand new content be created.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 3:52am (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:14am (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:22am (UTC -5)
Executives will be like "Okay, fine. We don't need you guys anyway. We have ChatGPT!"
And they would not be wrong. ChatGPT actually can turn out some serviceable scripts that are at least on par, if not better than the dreck we have been getting. To illustrate this, here is a sample episode from Star Trek: Legacy written completely without the aid of human writers, and the very first and only attempt that was made.
- - -
INT. ENTERPRISE-G - SEVEN OF NINE'S READY ROOM
Seven of Nine, the captain of the Enterprise-G, is sitting at her desk reading a PADD. Suddenly, the door chimes.
SEVEN OF NINE
The door opens, revealing Raffi, Seven's first officer and lover. Raffi enters the room and closes the door behind her.
We need to talk.
SEVEN OF NINE
I've just received word from Starfleet Command. Alex Kurtzman has threatened to restore all of Star Trek to his original vision.
SEVEN OF NINE
You know, the one where he ignores canon, replaces beloved characters with his own creations, and dumbs down the science fiction aspects in favor of action and spectacle.
SEVEN OF NINE
I see. That's a troubling development.
I agree. We need to stop him before he ruins everything that Gene Roddenberry created.
SEVEN OF NINE
Agreed. But how do we do that?
We confront him. Face to face. Tell him that we won't stand for his creative vision destroying what we love.
SEVEN OF NINE
I'm with you. Let's set course for Earth.
INT. STARFLEET HEADQUARTERS - ALEX KURTZMAN'S OFFICE
Seven of Nine and Raffi enter Alex Kurtzman's office. Kurtzman is sitting at his desk, typing on a computer.
(to his computer)
I don't care what the fans think. I'm the creative genius behind Star Trek. I know what's best for it.
Seven of Nine and Raffi approach Kurtzman's desk.
SEVEN OF NINE
That's where you're wrong, Mr. Kurtzman.
You may be the current steward of Star Trek, but you don't own it.
Ah, Captain Seven of Nine and her first officer Raffi. To what do I owe the pleasure?
SEVEN OF NINE
We've come to tell you that we won't stand for your creative vision destroying what Gene Roddenberry created.
Your disregard for canon and your constant retconning of Star Trek history is unacceptable.
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I ruin your childhood?
SEVEN OF NINE
This is not about nostalgia. This is about respecting the legacy of Star Trek.
And about telling good stories that challenge the audience's imagination and intellect, not just their sense of spectacle.
You two are so cute. But I'm afraid you're wasting your time. I answer to the higher-ups at ViacomCBS. They're the ones who want me to keep making more Star Trek content.
SEVEN OF NINE
Then we'll take this up with them.
And with the fans. They deserve to have their voices heard.
Good luck with that.
Seven of Nine and Raffi turn to leave the room.
SEVEN OF NINE
One more thing, Mr. Kurtzman.
We'll be watching you.
Alex Kurtzman watches them leave, a smug look on his face.
- - -
And so the executives would think "Hey, this is great!" And Terry Matalas would be like "Holy shit, I could've wrote that! That bot read my mind! I better learn to write better than some mindless AI."
And the real Alex Kurtzman would be like "Argh, no damnit! I am NOT the villain of Star Trek, I am its SAVIOR. Now stand back and watch me create something I can truly take pride in!"
In the aftermath, Terry Matalas and Alex Kurtzman may not have gotten their old jobs back but they and their writing was made all the richer for the experience. But whoever did become the new showrunners and writers after the brief AI takeover, you can be sure that their writing was significantly better than anything that a chatbot can come up with. For they learned that their very careers now depend upon it.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:28am (UTC -5)
What is facinating though, I sometimes get the feeling that many women like to expose their lines.
I never forced my daughters in their sometimes short dresses.
In SNW they have made a quite good compromise, which as I understand partly was promoted by Rebecca Romijn.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Asymmetry isn't necessarily inequality. If women enjoyed seeing men in tight bodysuits, that'd be fine, and I think occasionally that is the case. But more often than not, what women and men tend to find sexy is different. That's why sex appeal for men is often more of the "tight bodysuit" variety.
I don't think having a woman in a bodysuit, (which actually seemed to fit Troi's character just fine) is at all sexist.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 5:08am (UTC -5)
'Would it be "sexist" if there was a man in a tight body suit for women to enjoy?'
Seeing Bashir in a tight body suit was just embarrassing for all concerned.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 5:35am (UTC -5)
"Would it be "sexist" if there was a man in a tight body suit for women to enjoy?"
Lets use a more clear example. If Chakotey would have sat next to Janeway being all plucked and wearing only hotpants then yes that would have been sexist and I can barely imagine the male thunderstorm that would have caused.
"That's why sex appeal for men is often more of the "tight bodysuit" variety."
I guess that is why the Chippendales read books on stage.
"I don't think having a woman in a bodysuit, (which actually seemed to fit Troi's character just fine) is at all sexist. "
I believe that.
"What is facinating though, I sometimes get the feeling that many women like to expose their lines. I never forced my daughters in their sometimes short dresses."
Jery Ryan passed out several times because the body suit was so tight.
But besides that, I thought the difference between a woman deciding for whatever reason to wear a short skirt, which by the way for most of human civilization was a male clothing item, and female actors being cast for their looks and mandated to wear revealing clothing items to please the desires of the male audience was abundantly obvious! (Emphasis on abundantly)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 5:36am (UTC -5)
Exactly my point.
Two things. 1. Let's not generalize too much. There are definitely women out there who would probably enjoy seeing Bashir in the right kind of body suit.
2. When it comes to sexual attraction, men and women are asymmetrical. What is a popular fashion for "sexiness" in men isn't necessarily the same for women. Therefore, while putting women in a body suit may be an easy way to appeal to men, there are generally better ways to appeal to women.
And the fact that men and women are different does not necessarily mean that one is superior to the other... so calling it "sexism" is entirely misguided.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 5:38am (UTC -5)
"In Starlog magazine #249 she said, “if I got goosebumps, you could see them.” In fact, it was so tight, she had trouble breathing. It got so bad that they had nurses on the set with oxygen tanks. “It was so tight originally that I passed out four times,” Ryan told USA Today in 1997. “They would bring nurses to the set with oxygen, and I wouldn’t say anything. But after the fourth time passing out, I spoke up.”"
Wed, May 3, 2023, 5:40am (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 5:42am (UTC -5)
"If Chakotey would have sat next to Janeway being all plucked and wearing only hotpants then yes that would have been sexist and I can barely imagine the male thunderstorm that would have caused."
Okay. But then, what do you actually mean by "sexist"? If you mean "too ridiculous" then I understand. But that's why that's not a good example, because in the case of Troi I think her clothes fit the character and don't actually come off as ridiculous. It's also not equivalent because Troi isn't actually showing an equivalent amount of skin.
But, what if Chakotey was simply wearing an equivalent sort of outfit, a non standard bridge uniform that accentuates his body? Either something more skin tight, or shows off more skin than normal. And what if his character is repurposed for that to make a little more sense?
Is that "sexist"? If so, could you define what exactly it is you mean by "sexist"?
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:00am (UTC -5)
By the way, Sirtis was mandated to wear a bra that she herself called "industrial strength push-up.".
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:06am (UTC -5)
If I recall, production had to shut down for twenty minutes or more any time Ryan needed the toilet as well (because she had to be helped out of the catsuit), meaning she felt under a lot of pressure not to do so.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:20am (UTC -5)
It's totally understandable why you would conflate this, because throughout history there is a tendency for characters being utilized for their sexuality to also not be respected for other traits. Even so, this association that you (and many others) have developed is toxic. To internalize the idea that appealing to sexuality is automatically bad means an unhealthy relationship with sexuality.
The fact I want to point you to is this: a character can be dressed up aesthetically in any way. It can be sexy, or it can be a variety of things. Aside from that, the character can be written in a variety of ways. It does NOT automatically follow that a character having sexuality as one of it's appeals means that the character must be less respectable.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:27am (UTC -5)
Why should Troi as a Starfleet officer not wear an ordinary uniform like every other Starfleet officer on that bridge?
(I'll accept the argument that Seven was not a crewman, just like Neelix and Kes, even though the Maquis were all given Starfleet uniforms to wear and even ranks even though not all the Maquis had been through Starfleet.)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:45am (UTC -5)
It really depends on how you write the show. It's not so much "why should she" as it is "can you imagine a reason." Personally, it doesn't feel too unnatural to me for the ship's councilor to have an exception for the dress code. If you think a bit broader, you imagine a situation where depending on the ship, some councilors might wear the dress code and some may not, depending on their own wishes. Does sound like a plausible scenario to you?
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:54am (UTC -5)
Of course, as ship's counselor on a Galaxy-class starship full of civilians in which Troi has a dual role (military/civilian) it is plausible that Troi might want to wear civilian clothes to put civilians at ease, and have a dispensation to do so.
Doesn't explain why she started in a uniform in 'Farpoint' and spent the final seasons in a uniform as well. There were still civilians on the Enterprise in both cases.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 7:01am (UTC -5)
Well, honestly if I could make changes, I'd get rid of her Farpoint outfit and I'd have her go back to wearing her special uniforms after that one season 6 episode where she was told to wear a normal uniform. I feel like giving her a special look was actually a pretty cool part of her whole vibe and aesthetic.
That's just me, though.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 7:52am (UTC -5)
There were themes, just not the same as ST VI , ultimately the final frontier for Picard was starting a family, there are themes of change and shifts in ones beliefs , and there was forgiveness between Picard and Laren.
As for said reviewers, yes everyone did call RMB crazy and sold for believing S3 was good, keep in mind all these reviewers did acknowledge there were some flaws, if all they did was grift for the sake of grifting I probably wouldn't take them seriously.
To the point of Nerdrotic, ''it's probably good Trek because we've been treated to Nu-Trek for quite some time'' , and I agree with that statement, by rights this season had it's flaws and plot wholes and maybe lore inconsistencies (but nothing major) , but at least I had the feeling I was watching ST .
Wed, May 3, 2023, 8:00am (UTC -5)
The Troi character is also problematic because her powers are more trouble than they're worth from a writing standpoint. 90% of the time she is stating the obvious or the writers are having to come up with some reason why her powers aren't working at the moment.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 8:23am (UTC -5)
I would not feel more comfortable if my therapist would run around in a sexy dress but that might just be me. :D
"Even so, this association that you (and many others) have developed is toxic. To internalize the idea that appealing to sexuality is automatically bad means an unhealthy relationship with sexuality."
Nobody said that but alright. Thanks for the diagnosis, doctor. I'm German by the way and have seen and done things that would make you blush. When it comes to sexuality nobody outpervs Germany!
"It does NOT automatically follow that a character having sexuality as one of it's appeals means that the character must be less respectable."
What are you even talking about? This not about sexuality. it is about power dynamics. Are you seriously arguing that the USA in 1985 wasn't a deeply sexist society and that this was reflected in cultural products like this?!
By the way, the first time a woman was allowed to graduate from the US Naval Academy was in 1980.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 8:27am (UTC -5)
'I would not feel more comfortable if my therapist would run around in a sexy dress but that might just be me.'
Yes, I concede the term 'civilian clothes' was doing rather a lot of heavy lifting there.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 9:58am (UTC -5)
And the "skant" uniform was worn by men too.
Troi's uniform and overall appearance in Farpoint was ridiculous. Sirtis herself joked that she looked like a space cheerleader. That's the reason her appearance was changed so much after Farpoint.
I don't think there's an in-universe explanation for the change, but there's a pretty simple explanation: she wore a uniform because she had a new CO and she and Picard later agreed on a more casual look.
I think it's entirely believable Picard would want a casual look for Troi since she was there to help make contact with aliens and such. Everyone being in uniform makes the bridge look very militaristic and hardly welcoming.
Troi's casual attire mirrored the casual look of the Enterprise itself.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 11:10am (UTC -5)
I always liked Troi and related to her, I love chocolate and psychology.
From Wikipedia: Initially, series creator Gene Roddenberry intended Troi to be "eye candy" - beautiful, sexy, and not very bright. He also conceptualized her as having four breasts...
Eh, that's television for you.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 11:19am (UTC -5)
I believe it was DC Fontana who went into the absurd practical aspects of it asking how that would work exactly. Four all in a row? Two rows of two?
Wed, May 3, 2023, 11:28am (UTC -5)
'And the "skant" uniform was worn by men too.'
Yes, absolutely. If I recall, the idea was that society had evolved past any clothing being seen as exclusively male or female, and the intended retcon was that this had also been the case in TOS as well: both women and men were supposed to freely have worn skirted uniforms (just as both male and female personnel freely wore trousered uniforms) - but 'by chance' we'd only ever seen women wearing them in TOS.
The male skant uniform in S1 was only ever seen very briefly. I don't think it lasted past S1.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 12:44pm (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
"What is facinating though, I sometimes get the feeling that many women like to expose their lines. I never forced my daughters in their sometimes short dresses."
Jery Ryan passed out several times because the body suit was so tight."
I have no problem with saying that some scenes, dressing and general approach to the feamal actors is sexistic. Sevens dress is probably one of them. But it also constituates a contrast, she is definetly not as the others. Had she put her in other clothes this contrast would not have been so strong. Her apperance completly classhes with her inner femininity that seems to be 0. Her dress is minimalistic and therefore perfect.
Well actually it is not, she should of course have an overall with lot of pockets where she could carry a lot of usefuls tools that might have home in handy.
But back to the general discission.
As I understand Roddenbery himself balanced gifts and rewards quite well.
Still Trek (after DS9) has been very much better than many other series. But sexiness sells. And actresses with a good body figure quite often have to show it. The earth is round and circles around the sun.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 12:57pm (UTC -5)
The trouble is, we've more and more been conflating asymetry with inequality. From a rational standpoint, it can't be the case that ANY difference in treatment between men and women is "sexism," otherwise heterosexuality itself is sexism. And that's an important point, because some of the differences in society simply emerge from the difference in sexual interests of the two genders, on a hormonal level. For example, men tending towards being more visual and women more emotional when it comes to sexual interest. I think a certain amount of cultural differences between the two, like different clothes and aesthetics, is not necessarily a bad thing to have in society.
I think more nuance and thought around the issue is important. Being able to identify sexism also requires us to be able to draw a line, and therefore to sometimes say "no, this does not go across that line." And that's really not so easy to do.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 2:25pm (UTC -5)
Troi's bunny suit isn't defensible as agency/personal choice, not on a starship when everyone else is wearing a uniform, at least while she's on duty. Imagine Riker in a speedo on the bridge. It'd be considered pretty damned absurd.
Also, the bunny suit was _not_ meant for an 1080 remaster. Let's just say there are some episodes where absolutely nothing is left to the imagination. The men at least had black "down there" to preserve some dignity, with the occasional exception, like Q's form fitting gray outfit in "Deja J." (At least TNG could be an equal opportunity objectifier, lol)
My recollection of the four breasts thing is Gene only let it go when the makeup people rebelled. Some of the attitudes he brought to the production vis-à-vis sexuality were decades ahead of their time, others are wonderfully regressive and have aged terribly.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 2:36pm (UTC -5)
There was an episode (I think Unimatrix?) where Seven was dressed in more normal attire and didn't lose an iota of sexiness for it. I would argue she GAINED sexiness. I don't remember a lot about Voyager but I do remember being shocked when I saw that scene and wondering why the hell the producers insisted on the cat suit in the first place. Jeri Ryan didn't need the cat suit to have sex appeal.
Neither did Troi/Sirtis, it was a great moment for the character and actress when she scored a normal uniform.
Producers were clearly gunning for the teenage male crowd. Ironically, I _was_ a teenage male during Voyager's run and I still thought Ryan looked sexier without the cat suit. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Also, it's not like the regular TNG uniforms weren't form fitting. I own a few of them, they hide _nothing_, lol, every time I bust one out I find myself ruing COVID weight gain. I need my marathon body back before I wear that again. 🤣
Wed, May 3, 2023, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Jeri Ryan passed out in the full -on Borg costume from Scorpion II not the catsuits.
The reason the uniforms were made of spandex and two sizes too small in first 2 seasons TNG was because Geene hated wrinkles.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 2:49pm (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 3:22pm (UTC -5)
'Jeri Ryan passed out in the full -on Borg costume from Scorpion II not the catsuits.'
Yes. If I recall correctly it was the neck fitting on the full Borg costume that was too tight.
Seven was depicted in a Starfleet uniform in two episodes that I can remember off the top of my head. One was her own holodeck programme in 'Human Error' and the other was 'Relativity'. She looked much, much cooler in both.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
To turn back to NuTrek, I doubt this Star Trek: Legacy thing would offer anything new (the clue being in the name). As I said previously, I very much don't object to the idea of Seven being a captain, although PIC itself has made this implausible by suggesting that Seven was discriminated against and prevented from joining Starfleet when she returned to the Alpha Quadrant, for being a former Borg drone. Then in PIC S3 this is all forgotten (just like her alcoholism), and she's suddenly a first officer and then a captain.
The reason I mention this is not only because the Seven in PIC isn't really Seven apart from the same actress playing her, but it's also because the writers and producers don't seem to know what they're doing overall. So there's a strong chance that any series built around Captain Seven would be more of the same on the fly silliness.
And that's before we get into a series that would be built around Raffi and Jack Crusher as well, which simply sounds terrible.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
"Seven was depicted in a Starfleet uniform in two episodes that I can remember off the top of my head. One was her own holodeck programme in 'Human Error' and the other was 'Relativity'. She looked much, much cooler in both. "
Agree, but to me still very much becaues of the contrast, especially in Relativity. I have a suspision that it does not matter to much was she wears. She will alway make a good figure. Lokka at her toda in PIC.
My point ist the contrast. In ENT it was the same thing with T'Pol. She looked good in the cat-suite and is a very similar character. Hot dress but unreachable (almost). On a couple of occasions she dressed in normal uniform had it had the same effect there.
Seven was civilian also in "Killing game Part 1" and in "Someone to Watch Over Me". She looked very good in both episodes.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Yes, it lasts throughout Season 1 and I believe even some Season 2 shots. It's never very prominent though.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
There's no shame in liking that. My partner rather enjoys seeing the opposite when they put the male characters into skin tight outfits. It's called being human. :D
The real issue is with costume decisions that reduce characters who are supposed to be professionals to the rough equivalent of a swim suit model.
Can you imagine YOUR reaction if you went to meet a new therapist and she was wearing a Troi bunny suit? Hardly conducive to effective psychotherapy, lol.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:41pm (UTC -5)
In theory, yeah. I can imagine a situation where a character is wearing a ridiculous outfit that takes me out of the show. But I don't think Troi's outfits quite meet that standard, honestly they are fairly tame and "bunny suit" is a bit of an exaggeration. And I'd like to think in a more sexually evolved future, you'd be fine if your therapist is wearing that, it probably wouldn't bother me.
Also, TNG isnt a completely realistic straight laced show, it is tinted with a bit of fantasy and I don't mind that, I actually like it that way. (Like a lot of beautiful looking people, for example.)
TNG is also one of the few shows I've ever seen that portrays a male character as promiscuous in a positive, evolved light... which is super super super rare. And essentially non-existent these days, although the opposite has gotten to be very existent.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
And when I got a bit older, I had the opposite reaction because Jeri Ryan is a powerhouse actress. She made me cry in Picard 3, and it was one of only two times I felt emotion while watching the show. (Other than sad disgust.)
Quite honestly I never have understood this need for exposing extraneous skin in a work environment or especially in a scientific environment. I mostly attribute this to narcissists, who are more concerned with their appearance than their achievements.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:08pm (UTC -5)
*Japan has entered the chat*
Wed, May 3, 2023, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
Uhuh, and there was a time when doing uncomfortable things like sexual favours for executives was just considered part of the job, like the whole Harvey Weinstein fiasco which went on way too long precisely because of that attitude of normalization. Obviously that's an extreme example and I'm not equating physically uncomfortable and objectifying wardrobe with sexual misconduct. The point is there's uncomfortable things that are inherent to the job by virtue of its essence on the one hand, and then there's uncomfortable things that are tacked on because of some pervy executive's capricious decree and we should not confuse the two. Also, progress does happen and things that actors would have tolerated without question or complaint at one point now require stronger rationales and collaboration with those actors, lest such questionable requests be unmasked and clearly seen for what they are.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Wed, May 3, 2023, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
A lot of what they were going for with Troi's look was simply "alien". Her clothing in season one just screams "alien in a spacesuit". Plus she's wearing black contacts and has very a very odd hair style.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
Right, but there's a pretty big difference to coercion off camera, and what happens on camera. Wearing a sexy costume most certainly counts as "uncomfortable things that are inherent to the job by virtue of its essence," or for that matter even sexual acts in front of the camera can be inherent to the job if you're doing erotic film or porn. I think that if we're now passing judgment on such adult entertainment and condemning it, I see that as social regression, not progress.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
"even sexual acts in front of the camera can be inherent to the job if you're doing erotic film or porn. I think that if we're now passing judgment on such adult entertainment and condemning it, I see that as social regression, not progress. "
Right. And I'm not passing judgment on an entire industry. But we're talking about two separate things here because what makes something problematic needs to be considered in context. Porn actors are well aware of the typical terms and conditions, whereas there tends to be a slippery slope of expectations and conditions that are tacked on in an ad hoc sort of way when it comes to regular actresses finding themselves in uncomfortable situations that they have not have initially signed on for or foreseen. Because not everything can clearly be spelled out in a contract and there are definitely some grey areas. Once filming is already underway, they may find that either they're now contractually obligated to complete the job, or everyone around them persuades them that this is normal and it's no big deal so they're inclined to swallow their pride, or the sunk cost fallacy alone propels them forward. So I don't think it's always as simple a matter of "your agency is implicit in your signing the contract". This seems pretty self-evident to me at least in theory, but I'd like to know if anyone in the know can corroborate this with more specific examples. I only suspect that some Star Trek actresses probably didn't knowingly sign on for some of the creepiness they may have encountered both on and off set, making the distinction between the two less important than the creepiness itself, especially when those lines seem to blur whenever an auteur's "vision" is kinda creepy in and of itself.
Wed, May 3, 2023, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 4, 2023, 12:14am (UTC -5)
'Rene could be added digitally considering how great the PIC s3 changelings looked.'
I truly hope they don't elect to do this. The Auberjonois 'cameo' in PRO which used old audio was just about acceptable (the use of Majel's computer voice in 'Vox' was much more moving and respectful, I thought) but I don't want to see uncanny valley grave-robbing. Leave him be.
The sad thing is they would absolutely do it without a second thought as well. At least Majel's cameo was thought through and fitted perfectly.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 1:37am (UTC -5)
"I was thrilled when I got my regulation Starfleet uniform... it covered up my cleavage and I got all my brains back, because when you have cleavage you can't have brains in Hollywood... I was allowed to do things that I hadn't been allowed to do for five or six years. I went on away teams, I was in charge of staff, I had my pips back, I had phasers, I had all the equipment again, and it was fabulous.”
Troi was actually supposed to have four breast and only because of the only female writer, Dorothea Fontana, was that stopped. She said to Roddenberry:"I honestly believe you will offend most women, and maybe a lot of men with this character. Besides, how are you going to arrange those four provocatively shaped breasts? Four in a row? They had better be small. Two banks of two? Do you know how much trouble women have with the normal number—keeping them out of the way of things, I mean? Four straight up and down? Don't be silly."
Hey, but I always love to hear how many men think that what they like is not sexism towards women. There also seems some confusion between what discrimination and what sexism is.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 2:07am (UTC -5)
Four breasts... kind of sounds like they were trying to depict some sort of alien to me.
I don't how many men would have been "offended" by that, but it certainly would have been seen as a juvenile joke, just as was the three breast (in a row) Sonya Gomez in Total Recall. (Not really Gomez, but same actress.)
Personally, I'm a man and couldn't care less what Troi wore, though I think she looked best in a standard uniform. I just am disputing that her costume was significantly more revealing than the standard uniforms.
It looks to me like her personal figure in the first season or so may give the impression her outfit was more sexual than the uniforms.
If you find it offensive, you find it offensive.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 2:30am (UTC -5)
'If you find it offensive, you find it offensive.'
It's not offensive, it's just patronising. Sirtis and Sirtis alone was put in her own special wardrobe for the 'sexiness' of it, even though she was a Starfleet bridge officer. Sirtis herself started that she preferred the uniform, as did many of us fans at the time.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 3:14am (UTC -5)
The moment after I wrote it I thought of Japan. :)
Thu, May 4, 2023, 4:49am (UTC -5)
The moment after I wrote it I thought of Japan. :)"
An Axis of Perv
Thu, May 4, 2023, 5:20am (UTC -5)
I sincerely never noticed Troi's cleavage or even realized it was a thing before coming to this forum in the 2000s.
I know now the history and I know how it sounds but it's the truth - from a hetero male who spent his teen years watching Trek.
I can only speak for myself but Troi's cleavage and 7 of 9's catsuit meant exactly 0 to me even as a teenaged boy. They affected my enjoyment of the show by 0. They weren't even the slightest motivation to watch.
I knew they were good looking actresses. I knew Jeri Ryan was hot. But I saw the characters, not the actress. I got into the shows. If I saw a magazine spread of Jeri Ryan I would want to look because that's hot pictures of a hot woman (not an ex Borg drone but a hot actress) but Star Trek wasn't a magazine and it wasn't bloody spank material - it was a sci-fi show. We loved it because it was Star Trek.
Maybe I'm weird. But then again no one I knew, nobody (all Trek fans, all boys of course), ever even mentioned Troi's cleavage or Seven's catsuit. Never even once in all the years we watched or talked about Trek.
When Vulcan of 9 came I was old enough to realize for the first time why she was there and it sucked. The actress was incredibly hot. I had her Maxim photos and erm liked looking at them but in the context of the TV show T'Pal was a big fat 0 to me. I quit the show after three episodes.
Again, maybe I was a weirdo who couldn't enjoy sci-fi and get off on hot chicks at the same time.
Again I know why Rodenberry (and later Berman) did what they did. I am just questioning whether he (and other male execs,) knew what actually motivated their audience. Personally I think they were full of shit.
Actually let me amend what I said. I did notice Troi's costume once in the series - when she switched over to the Starfleet uniform. And I remember thinking as a teenager: "huh she looks pretty good in that, how come she wasn't always in one?"
Thu, May 4, 2023, 5:28am (UTC -5)
'Actually let me amend what I said. I did notice Troi's costume once in the series - when she switched over to the Starfleet uniform. And I remember thinking as a teenager: "huh she looks pretty good in that, how come she wasn't always in one?"'
This was pretty much my experience as well.
That said, looking back I do feel rather uncomfortable at the special treatment Sirtis and Ryan got, even though I wasn't that aware of it at the time. I just wanted to see them in Starfleet uniforms because I thought it looked cooler.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 8:49am (UTC -5)
Michael Dorn has worn a huge muscle suit for the entire run of the character. Wheaton wore a muscle from session 2 on. (Until eventually dropping it in the middle of a later guest distance-- humorously in the middle of an episode.)
Thu, May 4, 2023, 12:27pm (UTC -5)
Seriously? The bunny suit left NOTHING to the imagination. Go watch “The Ensigns of Command”, specifically the scene where she and Picard beam over to the alien ship.
The standard uniform very definitely did not reveal camel toe.
Granted, it wasn’t revealed on SD broadcast television, this is the 1080 remaster, but you know EVERYONE on the set saw it, every single day she was shoved into that horrible costume, and that’s horribly disrespectful to both the actress and the character she was playing.
The various dresses she wore were less problematic. If they had primarily been seen when she was off duty we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
Thu, May 4, 2023, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
I dunno...in Manage a Troi where Wesley got a field promotion to full ensign and put on the standard uniform for the first time, it looked two sizes too big.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 5:42pm (UTC -5)
I actually did go back last night and watched a fair amount of footage, but no I didn't have time to watch every frame, and definitely wasn't referring to what would be invisible to the audience.
HOWEVER, watch Picard in "Family" when he, his package and his brother walk to the vines. It's extra graphic in that outfit but it's frequently visible in his standard uniform.
Kirk was even worse in TOS.
In Lost in Space, John Robinson's pants are extremely revealing.
(All three were quite visible in SD.)
Were these outfits disrespectful or sexist or whatever?
Thu, May 4, 2023, 6:48pm (UTC -5)
“the median weekly pay for TV writer-producers, adjusted for inflation, declined by 23 percent over the past decade...inconsistency among productions and cost-cutting moves have led to writers being treated as expendable resources. Streaming shows can range in season length but typically run for fewer episodes than network shows, leading to less pay for writers per series. Plus, such programming—usually released for binging—tends to make use of “mini rooms,” gathering a handful of writers to crank out scripts before filming begins instead of establishing a writers’ room that meets regularly, often preventing younger writers from developing the experience they need to grow. ”
Thu, May 4, 2023, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Though that should mean they would actually be being paid more, so I dunno.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
Please don't interject modern day politics into this. This ain't about sex positivity, conservatism, or anything of the sort. Troi is the sole character that was denied a standard uniform while on duty. That's what's disrespectful to the character. It was only Troi singled out for incredibly revealing costumes, in virtually every episode and scene she was in, nobody else had to endure anything like it.
I'm not interested in litigating every single costume from every single episode.
Yes, there were various men on the show who wore revealing costumes that left little to the imagination. I called out one example (Q in Deja Q) towards the beginning of this thread.
None of them wore such outfits as a matter of routine.
Also note I drew a difference between outfits worn off duty vs. on duty. There are countless examples of Patrick Stewart and others in what were effectively bathrobes during scenes where they were off duty, called upon at night hours in their quarters, etc. This isn't objectification.
Troi is the sole character who was routinely was denied a standard uniform while on duty. That is objectification! The actress herself has said it. We all know exactly what the producers were doing with her wardrobe, along with Seven and T'Pol's. No reason to retroactively defend it or hand wave it away.
Thu, May 4, 2023, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
As you noted, streaming services churn out massive amounts of content, which really only works with a lot cost cutting, a fair amount of which hits the writers.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 12:09am (UTC -5)
'Troi is the sole character who was routinely was denied a standard uniform while on duty. That is objectification! The actress herself has said it. We all know exactly what the producers were doing with her wardrobe, along with Seven and T'Pol's. No reason to retroactively defend it or hand wave it away.'
This. It is really is simply this. I wouldn't even consider this position to be controversial in any way; it's just a statement of self-evident fact.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 12:15am (UTC -5)
'Apparently writers don’t make as much with these 10 episode seasons as they used to.'
This is interesting because all the NuTrek shows are top-heavy with dozens of producers - all of whom are well remunerated for their roles, one would expect. I struggle to fathom why a show would need a legion of producers, co-producers, executive producers, and co-executive producers.
What do they actually even do? Argue among one other, backstab and compromise one another's 'creative visions'?
(Yes, I laughed out loud writing that last paragraph.)
Fri, May 5, 2023, 12:46am (UTC -5)
'Troi is the sole character who was routinely was denied a standard uniform while on duty. That is objectification! The actress herself has said it. We all know exactly what the producers were doing with her wardrobe, along with Seven and T'Pol's. No reason to retroactively defend it or hand wave it away.'
No one's disputing 'what they were doing', the point is that there's nothing wrong with what they were doing. I liked Troi better in the unique clothes, I feel it suited her character better. It's only "objectification" in the vague sense that you could apply that label to ANY use of sexuality in media. And I love Marina but I think she was wrong to use that kind of overly sex negative language.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Thu, May 4, 2023, 1:11pm (UTC -5)
I just find it a bit of a worryingly conservative, sex negative attitude, to automatically equate a revealing costume = lack of respect for character. The implication being "a respectful woman is covered up." THAT is what I find problematic.
I don't watch this wretched "Picard" - but I do still read comments.
As others have pointed out above, this is nothing to do with Conservatism. There is also nothing wrong with women having respect for themselves by their dress. I know that's a radical thought in today's pathetic society.
What this is to do with is deliberately making her wardrobe appeal to men, for no other reason than sexual exploitation. Same with Seven of Nine. I do find it a bit hypocritical that Marina and Jeri still accepted the job - so they lose points for that - but it isn't something that should be considered okay. "Here, you'll wear a skirt so that the camera can try to get a good shot".
On the other hand, Kate Winslet (for example), is a millionaire that can't wait to succumb to exploitation and actively seeks it out. I've never understood that.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 1:09am (UTC -5)
If there is a bridge of a ship full of men in uniform and then you put in a woman who is not wearing a uniform but instead shows a lot of cleavage then that is not about sexism or not very subtly portraying power dynamics in a patriarchal society, no, it is freeing women from sex negative clothing norms.
So when Fox News frames their female tv anchors in a way that you always see their long legs, short skirts and high heels, they are not objectifying them, no, they are pushing sex positive and progressive gender norms. Roger Ailes was a feminist. Who would have thought.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 2:28am (UTC -5)
That's fair enough. But to me, the idea that a woman "respecting herself" is to cover up is certainly a conservative idea. At times religion has been the excuse, and other feminism, but either way it's a conservative idea. It's about guilt and shame.
"Objectifying" is a term that is often used to demonize sexual attraction. All sexual attraction IS objectifying by it's nature. Sure, sometimes it can be part and parcel of expressions of romantic love, and that's fine too... but the actual attraction part automatically creates an object of attraction. People can be treated badly as a result, but the actual sexual attraction is a part of the human condition. We shouldn't have to feel ashamed of who and what we are, IMO. If you disagree then that's fine, I suppose.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 3:01am (UTC -5)
People can wear whatever they want but when a bunch of male producer force female actors to wear skimpy outfits so that some guys can feel a twinkle in their tinkle then that is sexism and arguing for that makes you a defender of sexism and the oppression of women and that's not fine.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 4:59am (UTC -5)
"I struggle to fathom why a show would need a legion of producers, co-producers, executive producers, and co-executive producers."
"What do they actually even do? Argue among one other, backstab and compromise one another's 'creative visions'?"
Now you're on to something. I just wish that they were honest about their activity...
'Co-executive assistant backstabber' captures it. One time the meeting got rescheduled because the 'Creative vision extirpation consultant' was stuck in traffic. :)
Fri, May 5, 2023, 6:21am (UTC -5)
No, it isn't. It's about having respect for yourself and understanding that wearing nothing and showing your T&A to the world isn't seen by anyone in a positive light. You're as free to do it as I am to tell you it's self defeating. But that's got nothing to do with what happened to Marina Sirtis - that was just pure exploitation to gain audience numbers.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 7:59am (UTC -5)
To my knowledge, Gene Roddenberry was a big Asimov fan and I believe he based Troi loosely on the character of Bliss from the 1980s Foundation novels. It was probably impossible to capture Bliss (pardon the pun) in a televised series, but in theory Troi should be the master of any situation when the physical might of the Starfleet weapons fail. That Troi’s body was also weaponized, in the sense that she could disarm some strong men with her charms, was all part of the design. Maybe it’s sexist, maybe it’s just a fun idea.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 8:25am (UTC -5)
I have no problem with an all nude marriage and it is actually pretty progressive to have an older woman being naked. It would also be ok if all of them were sitting on the bridge in string tangas. That is not the point. This is about women having a specific role in many media products. As Sirtis said, until she was allowed to wear the uniform she never in charge of people and rarely went on away missions.
The bridge of the Enterprise is a professional setting in which all but the one woman were wearing uniforms while Troi was wearing something sexy. If Riker and Worf had worn tanktops and hotpants then I wouldn't have had a problem with it. Maybe a few scenes where Worf and Riker rub oil on each other after an intense wrestling session. Then it would all be fine. The difference in treatment is what makes it sexist. Roddenberry envisioned Troi primarily as eye candy.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 9:24am (UTC -5)
I agree with "Flipsider" right here: "No one's disputing 'what they were doing', the point is that there's nothing wrong with what they were doing. I liked Troi better in the unique clothes, I feel it suited her character better. It's only "objectification" in the vague sense that you could apply that label to ANY use of sexuality in media."
Yes, it suited Troi to be wearing a different outfit than the other bridge officers and that was not exploitation. She's not half-naked on the bridge or something. I'm guessing there are a bunch of SJW-type comments in this discussion that are, as usual, disingenuous.
Wasn't Stewart voted sexiest man alive?
Times that comes to mind where I felt there was some element of sexploitation is like T'Pol in "Bounty". But there were also the stupid scenes of the decontamination gel with Hoshi / T'Pol / Malcolm -- something for everybody I suppose. Braga and Berman were shameless at times.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 9:34am (UTC -5)
To be fair you forgot about Tasha. And it should be acknowledged that the actress chose to leave and wasn't forced out through harassment. The original concept was clearly a bit more balanced than you acknowledge. But yes once Tasha left we lost the only proactive female main cast member in a uniform which wasn't remedied until Season 5 with Ro.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 9:36am (UTC -5)
Damn I am still bitter about her leaving after just one season.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 9:48am (UTC -5)
It's certainly something that two of the three female main characters left after the first season.
One comment by Mcfadden:"I had been in conflict with one of the male writer-producers about certain things I thought were sexist. ... I understand why Denise wanted to leave. They didn’t use her. Our characters never had one scene together. I never had a scene with just Troi. The women didn’t count enough to have scenes together"
The producers thought they had too many women and wanted to fire Sirtis but after Mcfadden and Crosby leaving they decided to keep her.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Didn't they? I seem to remember her being important in several episodes but I guess the show was running for such a short time before she got up and left.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 10:51am (UTC -5)
But okay, let's just grant the premise that Troi's character was definitely treated in a sexist way. The positive way to fix that is to say "well let's have more eye candy for women, too." Men like to look at women, that's not something to feel shame about, it's just how we're wired. I think media playing into that shouldn't be seen a wrong. Progress, to me, is women's want being taken into account to the same degree. And if that were the case, you can't call that "sexism" anymore.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 12:10pm (UTC -5)
'Didn't they? I seem to remember her being important in several episodes but I guess the show was running for such a short time before she got up and left.'
I always assumed that Yar's final words on her farewell message, 'Hailing frequencies closed, Sir' were a reference to the fact that Yar's dialogue in most of her episodes consisted of little more than 'Hailing frequencies open, Sir'.
Fri, May 5, 2023, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
Then there's the whole power difference thing which can complicate things a little. Or at least it seems like asking a man to show off their muscles that they've worked so hard to develop is not necessarily equivalent to asking a woman to show some skin because 1) a woman with the sort of figure who would tend to receive those sorts of demands did not necessarily work on her figure for the express purpose of showing it off (and may not have worked toward a goal of conventional beauty at all), and 2) prevailing patriarchal attitudes created a climate of asymmetrical relations and one-sided expectations that some women understandably haven't gotten over, so simply levelling the playing field in this way would be cold comfort. I would imagine that they would would typically want to see LESS of this expectation, not more of it but applied more equally. At least not until it comes about in a truly collaborative way.
But I'm not a woman, so I can only speculate~
Fri, May 5, 2023, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
It's an interesting point that the dynamic did look worse on the bridge after Crosby left, though I don't think it's Troi's outfit per se that causes that.
Though I'm still at a loss here.
If posters didn't like it and/or were offended by it, ok. Obviously that can't be disputed.
But if the argument is that Sirtis (and Ryan, etc) were essentially forced to wear something because they had no power...
It's really hard not to see that as a demand for some sort of dress code for actresses. Someone has to make the judgment of what's too revealing and in some manner police that.
Sat, May 6, 2023, 6:19am (UTC -5)
That’s a specious argument because Enterprise was never intended to be an adult-themed show. It was doing poorly *as a Star Trek show* and tried to bolster its ratings by appealing to the lowest common denominator later. But hypothetically, if Enterprise did have a good writing team, “A Night In Sickbay” could have been a good episode regardless of its adult content.
Sat, May 6, 2023, 9:37am (UTC -5)
"Do we really want to see a bunch of older out-of-shape types?"
Lol at the irony of saying that on the Picard S3 finale comments thread.
Sun, May 7, 2023, 3:25am (UTC -5)
Back to Picard finale, I am in the same belief as what Defor says in his post about PIC's recycle of existing species and characters and second his opinion on about the loyalty of Strange New Worlds, Discover S4 and Voyager to Trek motto over that of PIC under Matalas.
Sun, May 7, 2023, 3:55am (UTC -5)
"There is something depressing and reductive in the way in which Picard season 3 so insistently narrows the scope of its storytelling and its narrative, as if desperate to assure audiences that there is absolutely nothing important about the Star Trek universe that they don’t already know."
Tue, May 9, 2023, 9:39am (UTC -5)
Fri, May 19, 2023, 2:46am (UTC -5)
Nobody is suggesting this applies to all women, certainly not elderly actresses. If for some weird reason an actress over 40 is cast, she should obviously wear clothing that minimizes skin exposure.
Hopefully obviously I'm kidding. Not only did I like Pulaski, my favorite character on The Expanse is Avasarala. The actress Shohreh Aghdashloo was/is late late 60s, early 70. And she actually does rock quite a few sexy outfits.
Fri, May 19, 2023, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Thread vets, remember back in the heydey of Picard S3, I would sometimes mention the "influencer class" on social media, and how they were shifting the narrative? It seemed very odd that all the Fandom Menace ilk, all the "M She U" idiots, Critical Drinker, Dave Cullen, etc etc... UNIFORMLY loved Picard S3. Literally zero variance in their opinion.
The common presence in all their video comments and livestreams was a little channel called "The Popcast", hosted by what appears to be two brothers. They liked Picard. No, they really, REALLY liked Picard. It was only when they called Terry Matalas "a leader and visionary similar to presidents" that I got really suspicious. Also, for a tiny channel, they were hosting Matalas and high-ranking executives almost weekly.
I had forgotten about these guys until the new Indiana Jones movie trailer came out, to mixed reviews. Almost immediately, they put out a lengthy video saying "no no, the trailer doesn't tell the REAL story! here's the truth!"
Out of nowhere, hardline advocacy for a completely different franchise? Really?
More likely, "The Popcast" seems to be a for-hire podcast and media front that will shill for any client who requests their services.
Oh, I forgot to mention. They are also the guys who funded the silly "Terry Trek" hats and pushed the Star Trek:Legacy petition. (one petition, they quietly asked all but their own petition to cease and desist.. nice)
Anyway, certainly activates the almonds...
Fri, May 19, 2023, 9:42pm (UTC -5)
Maybe it's a tad insulting to this board, the implication that we're simpletons cluelessly led around by influencers?
Personally, I watched this because they were bringing back the full classic seven cast. The trailer helped, though I have mixed feelings about showing Moriarty. It ruined the fun of the scene, but also made it more likely I would tune in (so to speak).
I only viewed the influencer/reviewer videos after the fact. The only ones I had ever seen before were the Drinker and Nerdrotic.
Though I kind of agree... if I were Nerdrotic, I wouldn't have agreed to a special preview. I've seen enough of him that I strongly doubted he could be easily bought. And it's highly unlikely even Paramount would pony up enough bucks for him to risk destroying his own channel.
But early access unavoidably creates a conflict.
JJ is the first "creator" I've begun to actively avoid, but if he was nice to me and invited me to see his new thing and asked what I thought? Of course I would be flattered and thinking of the most positive things to say.
Fri, May 19, 2023, 10:31pm (UTC -5)
Also Jack is such a blatant self-insert that I'd rather watch a show centered on Harry Kim's adventures on the Rhode Island than any show that featured both Jack Crusher, specialest boy on the bridge, and Terry Matalas.
Fri, May 19, 2023, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Sat, May 20, 2023, 7:16am (UTC -5)
Heh, I didn't find A Night in Sickbay particularly objectionable, and maybe your explanation is why: I had that impression of Archer from the beginning of the show.
Sun, May 21, 2023, 12:40am (UTC -5)
But it was mostly disappointing, nonsensical, rubbish.
Sun, May 21, 2023, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Very few flashbacks.
Personally I'm sick to death of flashbacks.
They used to be verboten for a reason until Tarantino used them well to tell a unique type of story.
Unfortunately they quickly reverted to being a crutch to show backstory that should have been worked into the story or cut entirely.
Tue, May 23, 2023, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
The idea that someone can like something without having to be told to like it or why to like it is (or can hate something without being told to hate it…..) is something that is beyond the comprehension of some.
No one here has permission to speak for the group, let alone claim the ability to mind-read it, tell it who it was influenced by, who it should have been influenced by, or tell it why its so-called influenced opinions are wrong.
This point I would have thought obvious. People are still engaging in this behavior a month after the last episode of season 3 ended.
But then again omnipotence has an infinite shelf life.
Wed, May 24, 2023, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
'People are still engaging in this behavior a month after the last episode of season 3 ended.'
Yes, you are.
Wed, May 24, 2023, 4:45pm (UTC -5)
Or maybe it's just that Picard S3 was a good season of television, so most critics gave it good reviews.
Occam's Razor and all that.
Thu, May 25, 2023, 8:07pm (UTC -5)
Fri, May 26, 2023, 2:43am (UTC -5)
In a way it's like "Star Trek Continues" and similar TOS revivals. Some of those episodes are actually really good. "Lolani" is spectacular: very well written, emotional and features a totally legit classic style Trek dilemma, in this case about the morality of Orion slave girls.
While nifty, though, obviously that requires an immense amount of effort for an ever shrinking fan base.
I mean, if they make more Trek of a type I like, great, but I certainly don't expect it. Society (or at least current media) may have changed too much for the old style premise to work.
TNG as a serial was a bit of a hoot for a single season, but I don't like how every new show has to be some long form soap sort of affair. I wasn't watching TNG for the Picard/Beverly flirting.
The streamers desperately want serials to keep you subscribed, but I almost always wait until at least a season has dropped because I'm just not terribly interested in becoming invested in something that'll probably crater at the end, thank you very much.
Actually S3 PIC was the first time in quite a long time I watched a "whole show" as it was released (S1 and S2 are their own shows).
I watched the final season of Better Call Saul as it dropped, but only because I watched the first seasons at once. (And, lol, I think it cratered pretty badly in the end. YMMV. )
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