Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

“Strange New Worlds”

3 stars.

Air date: 5/5/2022
Teleplay by Akiva Goldsman
Story by Akiva Goldsman & Alex Kurtzman & Jenny Lumet
Directed by Akiva Goldsman

Cast includes: Anson Mount (Christopher Pike), Rebecca Romijn ("Number One" Una Chin-Riley), Ethan Peck (Spock), Babs Olusanmokun (M'Benga), Christina Chong (La'an Noonien-Singh), Celia Rose Gooding (Nyota Uhura), Jess Bush (Christine Chapel), Melissa Navia (Erica Ortegas), Bruce Horak (Hemmer)

Review Text

"Strange New Worlds," the newest Trek series' eponymous pilot, is the best-looking, best-produced episode of TOS ever made. That is to say, it's a TOS-style story made with 21st-century filmmaking. Of course it looks great. Pretty much every episode of these new shows looks great. The secret is "Strange New Worlds" looks great while delivering a classic Star Trek experience. This is not a groundbreaking hour of television, but it's a good, solid execution of a classic formula.

Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) is coaxed (ordered) from an extended leave following the Enterprise's joint mission with Discovery to take down Control. (He gets his order from Admiral Robert April, played by Adrian Holmes, who almost immediately looks like one of Trek's better admiral characters.) You'll recall in the process of that arc, in second season's "Through the Valley of Shadows," Pike vividly experienced his future in which he would be gravely injured and permanently disabled after very nearly dying. "Strange New Worlds" picks up in the months after that revelation, and it has shaken Pike to his core. He's having trouble getting motivated to go back to work as the Enterprise gears up for redeployment after being repaired, and it's hard to blame him.

The mission that gets Pike back in the captain's chair is to find out why his first officer, Una "Number One" (Rebecca Romijn) has gone missing on a planet that the Federation is on the verge of making first contact with. "Strange New Worlds" is a solid retelling of the "two warring factions" (I chuckled when the episode used the phrase verbatim in dialogue) and Prime Directive (here still referred to as "General Order 1") stories, perhaps the staplest of Trek staples. It turns out the inhabitants of the planet analyzed the nearby warp signatures from the mission where Discovery went 900 years into the future, and they've used that scientific research to develop technology that can be used not as a means for travel, but for weapons of mass destruction. Pike becomes convinced the planet will destroy itself if the Enterprise doesn't intervene, so he takes an away mission to recover the missing crew members and try to put the genie back in the bottle.

This episode does an economical job of introducing most of its major characters alongside Pike. There is, of course, Spock (Ethan Peck), who is interrupted from engagement sex with T'Pring to go back on duty. Also Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding), who has a few things to do but doesn't make a huge impression yet, Doctor M'Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) who exudes a Zen-like calm, and Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) who has a notably larger personality than Majel Barrett played her. Kirk joins the crew at the end of the episode, but it's George Kirk (Dan Jeannotte), James' brother.

Anson Mount, as he was on Discovery, remains the standout performer, making Pike a charismatic and respectable leader who has an easygoing lead-by-example style. He's the sort of boss everyone wants: competent, understanding, personable. I was a little concerned early on by his dark and brooding demeanor that he would lose that charisma in favor of a more hardened edge, but my fears were allayed here by seeing that Pike ends up pretty well-rounded, with that new taste of death informing him as a piece of wisdom rather than simply darkness.

The other standout in this outing is Christina Chong as La'an Noonien-Singh, whose name raises viewer eyebrows but is not yet addressed here. She stands in temporarily for Number One while Una is missing. There's a scene here where she talks about death in a way that's compelling, because it deals with it in terms of human psychology: We all deny it's going to happen until a moment where it becomes certain it's absolutely going to. Pike is going through such a moment right now and can relate.

Pike's breakthrough in getting the planet to stop their escalating feud is to show a history of Earth's 21st century, where the world was nearly destroyed by World War III (which grew from a combination of the Second American Civil War and the Eugenics Wars, both notable new developments/retcons in the Trek timeline that make an effort to place all the events after our current time but well before First Contact in 2063). Placing footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection into the historical video feels a little on-the-nose, whereas nobody could've predicted the volatile and more unease-generating implications of Russia invading Ukraine when this was filmed more than a year ago.

The set design is crisp and bright, a welcome change of pace that hearkens back to the original Enterprise sets but also notably owes to the retro-futuristic aesthetic of the J.J. Abrams films. The photography is clean and straightforward. This is solid and well-done Trek in a classic template, plain and simple. For fans tired of the unrealized promise of over-padded serialization in Discovery and Picard (myself included), SNW signals a welcome return to an episodic format that is Trek's more natural state, and something where individual plots can live or die on their own merits rather than servicing a larger story that takes too long to come together (or, more likely as the cases have been, not). After so many seasons of that format failing to bear fruit, it's good to see the producers of SNW making a course correction.

Next episode: Children of the Comet

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Comment Section

416 comments on this post

    Promising. Very promising.

    LOVE the cast. Each one of these characters already feels more developed than any of the main characters from Disco or Picard (who aren't named Picard, Seven, or Burnham, at any rate).

    I don't know that I love the choice to have Pike feeling haunted by knowing his horrible fate . . . and not knowing that, thanks to the efforts of Spock (and presumably Uhura, M'Benga, Chapel et al off-screen during the Menagerie--under orders from Spock to pretend like he's acting along so he's the only one court-martialed) he actually eventually escapes the worst of that fate. Dour Pike isn't the reason everybody loved Pike in season 2 of Discovery. That said, by the end of the season he seems to be back to more of his old self. And I really hope that's the self we see the most, because I really do believe he could be one of the all-time great Star Trek Captains.

    Love the retro-modern aesthetic. Really excellent design marrying modern special effects and prop design with the form factors of the old props.

    I don't mind sexy-Spock in the slightest, though I'm sure nerd rage is inevitable in the comments to come below mine. I've never been of the opinion that Vulcans only mate every seven years, merely that the MUST mate every seven years. It's hard to see evolutionarily how the former would happen, plus Vulcan society doesn't reflect the real sociological effects such a restriction would create. Plus there's Sarek and Amanda, and I don't think Amanda is having sex only once every seven years. There are no doubt priggish Vulcan who only do the sex once every seven years, and pride themselves on being "more Vulcan" than the others. But even then, I wonder if they really hold to it. And anyway . . . we've seen that in private, Vulcans are actually less reserved than they perform at in front of others.

    Hard to reconcile this Chapel with the meek Chapel from the future . . . but there were always hints that her backstory was more wild than Majel's performance suggested of her personality. I am making a decision that I, personally, am not going to care very much as long as Jess Bush's performance entertains.

    Weird that M'Benga would be the CMO and then seemingly demoted under McCoy . . . although, he was said to a Vulcan anatomy specialist on TOS. Maybe he stepped down to work on a special research project or something aboard the Enterprise. Maybe he was only visiting the Enterprise on the two occasions on which he appeared . . . though, it didn't seem like it.

    We barely saw any of Uhura in this episode . . . but I loved what we did see. Gooding felt like Uhura. Not like Zoe Saldana (who was playing an alt-Uhura, so no shade on her). But Gooding had Uhura's right attitude and warmth of personality. Emotional intelligence, I suppose. We will see if this assessment holds in coming weeks, but so far, so good.

    LOVE the opening title and theme. Love that the classic narration is back. Right in the feels.

    Nothing on the "Noonien Singh" of it all. They even gave her backstory, and not a word. It's surely not a coincidence, so I guess we'll see.

    Really like her character so far. I've liked Christina Chong in everything I've seen her in, though, so I expected that.

    This cast just has chemistry, immediately, from the start.

    As for the episode itself, I LOVED Pike's solution and speech at the end. Classic Star Trek. We haven't seen a solution exactly like that--showing the horrors of Earth's past as their likely future to scare them into re-thinking the course they're on, while simultaneously showing them a new way forward and the hope of a better future--although the setup was a bit derivative of classic Star Trek plots. Which is fine! I felt the actual "planet of the week" story in this episode was secondary to setting up the show and the characters. It worked.

    But also, the last half hour was my favorite part of the episode and not the first 20 minutes. So more of that, please. That, right there, is the beating heart of Star Trek.

    Okay onto other stuff . . .

    Was the Admiral who came off the shuttlecraft supposed to be Robert April? Or did Pike mean another April when he said "April wants us back out there?" Like maybe April is running Starfleet and sent that Admiral to relay his orders, and that's what Pike meant? I don't recall him actually calling the Admiral April or Robert to his face in conversation.

    We've only seen Robert April in one TAS episode, so maybe the writers think they could get away with race swapping the character . . . but that's one of the TAS episodes pretty much everyone has ALWAYS agreed "counts." That would not sit well with me. Plus, what it says about the showrunner's penchant for changing things just to change them would be an ill omen to me.

    Evidently the Federation already knew about Cardassia and Bajor in Pike's time based on that star chart, heh.

    And now the big one . . .

    The Eugenics Wars have officially been moved to part of WWIII. Well, we kind of knew that already. I personally am fine with it. Star Trek is going to want to continue to have the option to tell stories that reference the present day in as close to how the present day actually is as they can, so they're going to push back the start date of those conflicts as much as they can before first contact in 2063. I'm okay with it.

    And apparently America starts WWIII as an outgrowth of a second Civil War. And apparently that can be traced to the January 6th insurrection.

    I am sure I will now have to endure a ton of outraged right-wing comments about the "woke" Star Trek producers pushing an agenda and blah blah blah, so I will preemptively say "shut up and stop proving them right."

    It's pretty cynical that it would be America but you know what . . . it's got to be something. They certainly didn't have a crystal ball about Russia and Ukraine two years ago when they filmed, anyway.

    How cool was the pseudo-K7 starbase!

    Oh and I would really love it if there's more classic bridge sounds on the bridge. They're there but low and in the background.

    Think we'll see yeomen on this show, or do you think the writers don't want to touch that can of sexist worms with a 10-foot pole? I think they really should try. Make a point that men are yeomen too, but the yeoman is a TOS-era Enterprise staple. Address their weird rank situation by saying they're a position and only a position on Constitution class ships--which are supposed to be out exploring space beyond contact with Starfleet for up to five years at a time so obviously would have different organizational hierarchies and support staff.

    Lt. Kyle operating the transporter!

    Man, I already can't wait for next week.

    To save time, maybe you should limit all future Kurtzman/Goldsman Trek reviews to star ratings and the old "nutshell" comment.

    Oh I forgot: wonder if we'll be seeing Melanie Scrofano aka Wynonna Earp/Mrs. McMurray again, or if that was a one-off? Seems they would have hired a cheaper actress if that was meant to be a one-off.

    Most weeks you could just write:

    2 stars.

    "There are some promising things here though it gets bogged down in silly contrivances, action-sequences, inconsistent characterisation and un-earned emotional pay-offs - It's unlikely this will go anywhere unique, interesting or meaningful."

    You won't even have to watch the episodes! Talk about a time-saver.

    This was pretty darn good. I have a few continuity quibbles, and the CBS sentimentalism reared its ugly head once or twice (but much less than Disco or Picard), but I really like this cast. Pike is great, and Spock is better than I remember from what I watched of Disco where I don't remember being too impressed by his performance.
    Pike's speach at the end was great, and this episode felt rooted in "real" Trek throughout, from the tone to the production design.

    However, I still would not be surprised if the show falls flat on its face very quickly given this creative team's track record. Prove me wrong, SNW.

    JohnTY (and everyone else who just moans about every single episode of any Trek from the last 5yrs):

    Why don't you just stop watching.

    Seriously, just stop.

    Have you watched TOS recently? I have, I forced myself to watch every episode, most of them (yes, MOST) were absolute rubbish. Terrible. Most episodes boiled down to Kirk falling in love after 10 mins, random God-of-the-week, or some super computer/robot easily defeated with a few spoken words. And how many court cases did we have to sit through. Or bizarre plot points which made zero sense but were glossed over. Always remember Kirk's chair having a dedicated button on it to eject a part of the ship (with man inside in that episode, leading to long drawn out pointless court scenes). Pretty sure Pike's chair has no such arbitrary buttons.

    Then came TNG. Which for two seasons was also 90% terrible. Even season 3 onwards was still hit or miss for me. Granted there were some much better episodes, but still a fair few I really had to force myself to finish.

    As I've been re-watching all TOS and TNG episodes over the last year, I have been reading the respective reviews on here. The ratings and comments (especially for TOS) seem to bare little resemblance to what I've just watched. Comparatively few comments on TOS episodes, and most of them are pretty short and from a number of years ago.

    It makes me wonder what exactly the people who comment on/criticise/moan about all new discovery, Picard and now strange new worlds episodes actually want? Have you seen TOS/TNG? Did you honestly think TOS was so much better than Discovery/Picard? Don't get me wrong, there were a few reasonable episodes of TOS and I loved the movies (apart from first one), but sheesh so many of them were absolute drivel.

    If you really don't like the new Trek series, stop watching and constantly criticising and stick to watching TOS over and over if that's what you like. Hope you enjoy your god of the week episodes (funny how they came across so many in TOS but TNG pretty much just had Q) and Kirk falling in love every week.

    Personally I'll continue to enjoy all that 'New Trek' has to offer (maybe with the exception of the cartoons, I'm not a cartoon fan!) and I can't wait for the rest of Strange New Worlds to air!

    Yeah, no.
    TNG even in season 1 had big ideas and powerful messages that managed to poke out through the often questionable episodes. I'd watch "The Neutral Zone" a million times before watching Picard season 2 episodes 3 through 10 again.

    What do Picard and Disco have to offer Days? Days of Our Lives tier drama, and that's basically it.

    "Love the retro-modern aesthetic. Really excellent design marrying modern special effects and prop design with the form factors of the old props."

    That part was done very well. The crap sets and from the original show would look horrible and completely out of place here.

    I'm really looking forward to watching this from the sidelines.
    Here we go again. The first episode is great (iteration #7), time for hope. The next episode will be pretty good and then...

    Good luck! :)

    Seriously Jammer, can you delete like all of the above? First episode of a brand new series and anybody curious about what people are saying are going to run into . . . this.

    "If you really don't like the new Trek series, stop watching and constantly criticising and stick to watching TOS over and over if that's what you like. Hope you enjoy your god of the week episodes (funny how they came across so many in TOS but TNG pretty much just had Q) and Kirk falling in love every week."

    Maybe we are just hoping it will get better. You see, some of us have been watching since the 1960's. We enjoyed TOS, TNG, DS9, Voy, and even Ent. Heck, even ST 2009 had it's moments. So we think we know a little about what good Trek looks like.

    That said, this is a review site. Review doesn't mean shilling for Paramount any more than it means that each and every episode is an affront to man and God. It means we get to state our opinions. You aren't obligated to agree with other people's opinions and no one is obligated to agree with yours. It's called life, deal with it.

    A terrific start.

    Like others, I really like the cast: Anson Mount continues to shine as Captain Pike, and, dare I say, he's the best of any recent addition to the universe/franchise; Babs Olusanmokun's Dr. M'Benga and Jess Bush's Nurse Chapel have great chemistry and rapport, and I enjoyed the latter's spirit; and I was really digging Celia Rose Gooding's vibes as Uhura. I can see myself having some trouble choosing between Chapel and Uhura as my favourite in this series moving forward.

    As for the episode, I think it did a good job of being 'familiar, but different.' Alan Sepinwall wrote for Rolling Stone magazine that the series 'boldly goes where the franchise has gone before,' and describes it as a 'welcome throwback,' and, for at least this one episode, I entirely agree. Some might complain that the employed formula is just that, a formula, unoriginal and/or uninspired, but there's a reason why many of us have gravitated toward Trek of old, and I appreciate what I saw, and the message that was delivered. The episode reminded me of Taste of Armageddon: "We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it! We can admit that we're killers, but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes… knowing that we're not going to kill today."

    Here's hoping the series builds on its promising start.

    PS Regarding Chapel's demeanour, as compared to that seen in The Original Series, I did read or hear speculation elsewhere that the disappearance of her fiancee, Dr. Roger Korby, might have caused her to become more sombre over time. Makes sense to me. Certainly welcome a more lively and spirited portrayal of the character.

    Initial Warp Core reaction S01E01

    1. Another Star Trek Platinum blonde that needs to buy a comb
    2. Captain quarters: a bar and a fireplace? Can't wait for a sing-a-long, some s'mores, and a weenie roast. And a good Scotch.
    3. Where can I get Star Trek elevator music.
    4. Wished they kept the original transporter sparkle.
    5. A little preachy. OK, so a lot.
    6. Need to see some Pike flaws, he's too perfect. Always in control.
    7. Nice cast, good humor elements.
    8. Dribbles of intriguing backstory.
    9. Very good episodic episode.
    10. Nice Red Alert lighting. Can't wait for Yellow Alert, and Self destruct.
    11. Surprised by Kirk's brother.
    12. Just a pinch of action here and there.
    13. Promising crew chemistry.
    OVERALL: 2.5*

    I am forced to admit this one is pretty good. If they can keep it up, we may have a winner. It really does have the old trek feel, but without the chauvinism. We will see.

    A nuts-and-bolts episode of plain ol' vanilla episodic Star Trek, and I greatly enjoyed it. I didn't realise how much I'd missed Anson Mount until he was in the chair again. As @Jeffrey's Tube noted above, the supporting cast already feel as fleshed-out after this one episode, as Disco's do after four seasons. I look forward to the return of the episodic format allowing each of them some time to shine.

    The Enterprise looks fantastic, and even though I am annoyed that we're still rewriting Trek's past, I do appreciate the effort this production team has gone to to make the show feel much more stylistically in sync with TOS than the Disco team ever did.

    This has ended my evening on a positive note. Dare I now go watch the finale` of PIC S2? God, I don't want to go to bed disappointed...

    This wasn't bad, despite some annoying NuTrek tropes. However, it wasn't very good either. I think the issue is that this episode was missing 20 extra minutes in which we get to understand the alien society in question (this is, after all, "Strange New Worlds," isn't it?). Without them, we simply don't get a commentary about much of anyhing.

    Instead, what we take home is some vague allusion to how in our present-day Earth we are about to be destroyed by "division" and "competing visions of liberty." But we never see those issues distilled in the alien society and thus the episode ends up having nothing to say about them beyond "just sit and talk." As we have seen in Picard, NuTrek can point at current problems and say "bad," but has nothing else to offer. It's a shame, because the rest of the episode would have really worked if the story had this core to give it meaning. There is a smart parallel with Pike and the notion that "seeing your own future makes the risks more tangible," but it isn't enough because we haven't seen enough to understand the conflict at hand (there is some notion of "separatists" which to me doesn't seem at all like a "mutually assured destruction" political situation).

    I suspect this is more or less what we will see the entire season: Some well-meaning attempts to do real Star Trek, but without the writers having the ability to truly engage in any powerful social allegory. They will probably link the alien society du jour to some character trauma and make it about that, just like they did in this pilot. But hey, at least it isn't hateful and grim, which is something.

    Wow. I mean, wow. I was aping Jammer.. Kinda wondering why he bothers anymore when he clearly doesn't like "NuTrek" very much.

    If you do, that's great.

    I stopped watching ages ago but I still find his reviews well written so come back every so often.

    OysterD -"It makes me wonder what exactly the people who comment on/criticise/moan about all new discovery, Picard and now strange new worlds episodes actually want?"

    There's literally thousands of detailed and thoughtful posts re the clear deficiencies these people see with rudimentary character development, plot coherence, pacing and so forth. You are deliberately ignoring this for God knows what reason. They want better overall quality with some intelligence. They want Kurtzman and his talentless flock ousted. Duh.

    Jeffrey's Tube -"Seriously Jammer, can you delete like all of the above? First episode of a brand new series and anybody curious about what people are saying are going to run into . . . this."

    No, that is precisely the opposite of the Trek ideal. Someone demanding full censorship because they don't like what they see. Jeffrey, you know why these comments exist?? Because the nu-Trek to date has been bad enough to warrant it. These comments capture very well the state of Trek going into this new premiere.

    And you know what - if SNW doesn't completely nosedive after it's first episode or two then the tone of these comments will change. Have you ever considered that your irrational exuberance might be part of the problem?

    What a shift! I don't have the long list of grievances about Discovery and Picard that many others do, but neither one has ever felt quite... right. Like someone found a piece of music with all the notes but didn't know how to put them together.

    But this just FEELS right. The episode itself wasn't amazing... the overall story felt very TNG Seasons 1 or 2 - some heavy-handed moralizing about modern society done with a solid character core. But even that was a nice step in the right direction. The sometimes quippy and jokey dialogue that these new shows enjoy so much works more naturally when you're in a slightly ridiculous scenario where the alien culture is an openly-obvious caricature of our own society. When that tone is inserted where it so doesn't belong (looking at you, Picard Season 2), it just feels tonally off.

    Anson Mount might be THE find of these new Trek series. His Captain Pike oozes that command presence and easygoing leadership that you want in a lead character. This not disparaging other characters that they've tried this with (Burnham, Rios, etc.), but that's just a hard charisma to pull off. You've got to manage cornball speeches like Pike gives at the end of the episode without coming off like a parody of yourself.

    The supporting cast is quite solid too. Ethan Peck is very solid as young Spock. Bringing T'Pring into the picture was a plot development I hadn't expected, but it plays very well. Rebecca Romijn is good as Number One, but the stories really haven't given her anything to do yet. I was probably most impressed with Christina Chong as La'an. That common "I'm so tough that I can't trust other people" trope can get really tired, but she played it well. You gathered that it was just one aspect of an otherwise rounded personality... not THE defining trait of the character. Dr. M'Benga was pleasant, though not much time was given to him.

    Nurse Chapel was the one weak link at this point for me. The actress plays it very... contemporary. I couldn't get past that I was watching a modern actress play a character. Though I did genuinely chuckle at some her antics with the alien on the loose.

    The plot... like I said, very early TNG. It had a lot of shades of "Encounter at Farpoint" mixed in with bits of "Symbiosis" and "The Neutral Zone." Those episodes where the main characters had to stop and explain how this situation was just like what those backwards 20th century humans used to do. The metaphor in this episode was solid on its own, so I think calling it out and saying, "Do you get it? This planet is like today!" seemed kinda unnecessary. Trust me, folks. Your metaphor wasn't *too* subtle. I think everyone got it the first time.

    Still, I haven't felt this good about a Trek series in a long time. I'll enjoy that high while I can.

    That was a great pilot - probably died with Emissary for the best pilot in all of Trek history. It did absolutely everything that a pilot sets out to do - introduce us to the setting, themes, and main characters of the series.

    It also, similar to Emissary, had a coherent character arc for the series lead (Anson Mount's rendition of Pike in this case). I have to say that taking the end of Season 2 of Discovery into account, this arc works a little less well however, because the beginning of the story regresses him a bit in order to make him reluctant to return to command. I did like the conclusion he draws from his discussion with La'an however - that in a way knowing how things ended liberated him, because Pike knows he has about a decade left to make things as right as he can be. My understanding is this is just a single step along his journey this season, so we'll only see Pike regain more of his confidence as the season wears on.

    There's not much of anything I can nitpick about here, TBH. Maybe La'an's monologue about being a captive of the Gorn was a bit over the top - certainly it violated the dramatic rules of show not tell. But La'an was the other standout character this week, so I cannot complain. She didn't really get an emotional arc per se, but she did get a change in status over the course of the episode, impressing Pike and getting a regular assignment on the ship.

    I cannot believe that Akiva Goldsman wrote this script. It's not genius work at all, there's certainly no high-concept SF to be found. But it works well as a back-to-basics Trek story to reintroduce us to planets of the week. I don't mind the lack of worldbuilding, since it's an explicit callback to TOS. I even think that his pretty mediocre direction style works quite well here, as he actually lets the camera linger fairly long on characters faces, during intimate discussions - which make up the bulk of this episode. Seriously, I was so engrossed that I didn't notice until the end that other than a few shots fired at the Enterprise and a single 30-second "action" scene this was basically just people sitting in rooms and talking - but the script was well polished enough to have these relatively sedate, dialogue-heavy scenes carry the entire episode.

    3.5 stars.

    A good start. Hopefully, the episodic format pays off. Agreed that Anson Mount is fantastic. I give the series 1 chance in 3 that it turns out to be good. That is optimistic considering what has come before.

    FWIW, advanced reviewers who have seen the first five episodes say the quality holds up that far.

    Episode 2 is supposed to be even better, though Episode 3 is the worst of the lot.


    You want to shit all over the show, be my guest. But watch the damn episode first and have something to say about it specifically. Otherwise, you're just trolling, and we don't need your useless comments.

    @chris Lopes Yes. And your referral to it as "Nu Trek" shows a similar predisposition to disliking new things.

    He didn't just "make a joke". It's unnecessary negativity.

    @mike Lindell lol. Nah. TNG season 1 didn't "have good ideas". Just like season 1-2 of DS9, it's absolutely unwatchable garbage. Don't tell me that on rewatches you don't either cut out s1 of both, or you simply rewatch those less than the rest.

    Pretending garbage isn't garbage just so you can feel more authentic with your commentary that everything new "isn't as good" means you're acting in bad faith.

    Just stop watching.

    @Chris Lopes I've also been watching Trek for that long. I'm also not opposed to new things simply because they don't make me feel nostalgic.

    Star Trek is not a "type" of story. Star Trek is "a place to tell stories". It was more a setting than a framework for a type of story, which is why so many different types of stories can be told. And given that, I want my Star Trek stories to be varied.

    I know you're full of it when you talk about Voyager and Enterprise as being better than newer Trek. New Trek has its problems, and hit or miss with its episodes--like any Trek series--but Voyager is just outright bad overall. Enterprise had great ideas and potential, but it never really realized its potential.

    I imagine you're one of these folks who's been broken by conservative propaganda to buy into every manufactured culture war, and are constantly raving about new Trek being "too woke".

    Stop watching it. Stop coming here. Stop being a pedantic whiner, offering your negativity when no one has asked for it.

    @Ilsat Don't you have a MAGA rally to get to? You're telling on yourself so plainly. No, you're not in the majority. And even if you were, you're in the majority of a group whose existence is devoted to hate watching and then whining about it.

    Pathetic, really. lmfao

    TNG season 1 had far more of value, to me, than Picard has.
    Q in Encounter at Farpoint was fascinating, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is one of my favorite Trek episodes, I appreciate "The Neutral Zone" for how it swings for the fences as far as defining humanity in the 24th century (no longer about the acquisition of wealth, no fear of death, etc), etc. These new shows wish they had the wild spirit of Roddenberry's early TNG.

    Yes, we also got episodes like the planet of the black tribesmen, but hey.

    Despite DISCO and PIC being catastrophes, I’m excited for this!

    Guess I’m just an incurable optimist. You know, that quality that’s been woven into Trek since the beginning?

    OMG can we at least be a little positive with a new series? I mean absolutely HATE DSC but I still gave it 3 seasons (bits of season 1 and 2 were actually ok too - largely due to Isaacs, Yeoh and Mount though).

    I'm excited too.. except I have to wait till 22nd June for Paramount+ to be available here.

    Not being one to use "other means" to view these shows I'm kinda tempted this time.

    Jeffrey's Tube - "You want to shit all over the show, be my guest. But watch the damn episode first and have something to say about it specifically. Otherwise, you're just trolling, and we don't need your useless comments."

    Who's shitting on the NEW show? No one. We're pointing out the track record of the recent shows as evidence why few are optimistic going into this one. Are you capable of reading?

    I called you out personally for asking Jammer to delete 30 comments because YOU didn't like them. That makes you worse than a troll. Now grow up and stop speaking disingenuously.

    Wow. The best Star Trek series pilot. Period.

    I woke up early so I could watch this before work. Posting this at lunch. I will of course write a full review with my rating. But maybe not till tomorrow. Today we have the in-laws over.

    And yes, I am fully aware of the reviewers who say that there are significant drops in quality in the first five episodes.

    But you know what? I don’t care.

    If you love Star Trek, and you don’t watch this premiere, you really are cutting off your nose to smite your face.

    Enjoy, my friends! This is one of the good ones :)

    Mal01 - you are one maladjusted person. I'm a liberal progressive in the DC area with more nuance to my politics in my pinko little pinky than you could ever conjure up. Here's a sample of your sophistication toward others:

    "Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Child."

    That's literally you - some anonymous little loser of a troll who periodically drops in to name call. Nu-Trek sucks for many but they continue to hope the next iteration will be better. That's hope watching not hate watching. Seriously, WTF is wrong with you?

    I must say there is a great deal of anger here. There are healthier ways to deal with your issues than ranting like this. Exercise. Sex. Blowing up Russian tanks. Seriously, those of you trolling should just leave. What's your incentive to rant anyways? No one knows anybody here. You're not "winning" anything.

    My only two cents on this whole thing regarding the site:

    Jammer has made the choice to not turn this into a full discussion forum, which would allow for off-topic discussion to go somewhere else, along with allowing for direct replies. I respect his decision, because it's a lot of extra work for a site which he almost gets nothing for.

    But because of the very old school system of replies, off-topic chains of discussion can easily derail a whole thread and make it unreadable if you want to - you know - actually read reviews of the episode.

    I've been guilty of derailing things in the past. The other week I got on a huge tangent about "Gene's vision" for example. But when threads are derailed to make THE EXACT SAME FUCKING POINT every week, it's not adding anything new to the conversation, it's trolling.

    So yeah, tear into the episodes by all means. But we don't need yet another thread with 6-12 people butthurt about modern Trek in general. You can just keep replying to an older review if you want that.

    Let me see if I can move some of you from your irrational anger to a more productive dialogue. Take Mal01, you said, "New Trek has its problems, and hit or miss with its episodes--like any Trek series--but Voyager is just outright bad overall."

    So, your contention is Voyager is just bad. No rationale to back it up. Just, here I am making a statement - everyone must agree with it. Yet, Voyager has at least several intriguing characters, including the Doctor, Janeway and Seven. They have legitimately solid character arcs. Are you seriously denying this? Who in Picard, for example, has a better character arc? Seriously?

    Voyager has some duds for episodes. It also has some mediocre ones. But it also has Scorpion, Timeless, Counterpoint, Living Witness, Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy, Human Error, Equinox, Latent Image, Tuvix, and so on. How can you say Voyager is "across the board bad" when these exist?

    You know, I really had to work to find any actual SNW reviews in here. I think a good steaming cup of STFU might be something that MULTIPLE people could benefit from.

    An enjoyable start with likeable characters and a true Trek speech about hope and a better future to win the day. Now we'll see if this pilot was just an anomaly... I hope not :-)

    Two minor quibbles:

    For such a top secret, highly classified and sensitive matter the disappearance of Discovery is sure brought up a whole heck of a lot.

    Here's hoping Pike's vision of his tragic future won't be the SNW's version of Picard flashing back to his mamaaaan. What happened to him is traumatic, but like Spock pointed out: still well over a decade away.

    I'm optimistic. That's my first reaction.

    I think, had this been the first new Star Trek show, no Discovery, no Picard, I would be over the moon. Granted, a fair bit of Pike's character is dependent on Disco's second season (and he was the single best part of that season), so it couldn't have been the first new Trek show as it is, but the basic skeleton is there, and the approach to the show is there, and both are very different from Disco or Picard.

    Discovery is too obsessed with navel gazing and pushing an agenda at the expense of well-written storytelling. Yes, Trek has ALWAYS had an agenda, but it used to be smarter about how it told its stories. It used to be smarter, period. Until Discovery remembers how to be a good science-fiction show first, a good Star Trek show second, and a good morality play third, I won't be going back.

    Picard is too much of a hot mess all the way around. The writing is abysmal, the acting is usually subpar, and the plotting is flat-out insulting. It's just bad TV, not just bad sci-fi and bad Trek (it's both of those too).

    But this...this is good. Strange New Worlds feels like a modern Star Trek show. If this had been the first reboot, I might be annoyed at some minor things (the dialogue is still a bit too casual, there's not a lot of science, there aren't a lot of questions being asked), but overall I would be very satisfied.

    I love the cast. After just one episode I already can recognize the crew. After two years with Discovery, I still didn't know 90% of their names. Most of them had little more than two lines of dialogue per episode, if that. This feels like a show about a crew. As expected, there's a core of stars that will take the center stage (Pike, Spock, Una) but there's enough attention already paid to the rest of the command crew that I think I'm going to grow to like everyone as we go on.

    "But this just FEELS right."

    It does and I don't think that can be said enough. For all the criticism some of us have thrown at Nu Trek, we have to acknowledge when they (for the moment) look like they are giving us the show we are looking for. We can take yes for an answer.

    The show is far from perfect, but I am willing to overlook the leaps in logic, the plot holes, and the messing with canon, if I can get an entertaining show out of the deal.

    The show is well cast, the visuals are gorgeous, and the writing was surprisingly good. I'm going to give the show breathing room before I decide if it's good or not.

    Saw the finale of Picard and was really let down. Then got to watch this and was presently surprised. Yes, there are a few things to quibble about but I enjoyed the episode to much to bother mentioning here. My only real gripe is them mentioning races and placed that, as far as I know, where not revealed until TOS or TNG.

    Looking forward to the next episode.

    "Love the retro-modern aesthetic. Really excellent design marrying modern special effects and prop design with the form factors of the old props."

    Set design and VFX were never the problem on DSC or PIC either.

    To paraphrase a Clinton era's the writing, stupid. Works just as well without the comma.

    @ Jaxon

    Actually, I don't really care for the set design, props, uniforms, etc. of Disco. Never cared for the design of the ship, the lighting, the scoring or sound effects, either. None of it has ever felt particularly inspired or "strange" in any way that suggests futuristic. Compare that with TOS with the way they randomly lit corridor walls with purple or green lighting, or the random machinery and conduits in the otherwise clean and bright corridors, or the strange sound doors make whisking open . . . compare that with the strange aesthetics of the Enterprise-D, with a minimalist bridge, strangely angled chairs, tiny little hand phasers, beige everything . . . little touches like that are entirely missing from Discovery. Oh, the doors make a sound when they open--I think, anyway, I've never noticed and that's part of the problem--but it isn't a weird or strange sound that engages the imagination. It's just what we expect an opening door to sound like, so it isn't futuristic. It doesn't suggest any sense of wonderment or that this is a world bigger than we understand because there are visual and auditory examples of things that don't make sense to us on the screen. If that makes sense.

    These things aren't more important than writing, of course. But they do matter. And more than we realize, usually. Nice icing on a turd cake is still a turd cake, but chocolate cake with bland icing isn't going to inspire you to keep coming back for seconds for nearly 60 years, either.

    WhyWhy are we doing the old trope of not cliche of TWONWARRING HUMANOID FSCTIONA IN THE FIRDT EPISODE..this is called STRANGE NEW WORLDS PPL! Wasn't anyone else very disappointed by the aspect..nkt strange or new at all..seriously. I hope every other eoisode has strange and unique lifeforms..some can be humanoid but make them have some unique property or culture and not just the old story tropes

    Grounded and well paced. Really enjoyed this after suffering through Picard. Let’s hope they can make this type of episode their formula and stick to it. 4/4 for me

    I can see what they're going for here. Pike is having a crisis of faith after seeing visions of his ugly future brought on by space exploration. He's forced into a mission where he realizes the prospect of an ugly future can (in a fashion) be inspirational to others. He turns his weakness into a strength for the less developed people who haven't had the chance to experience the galactic spatial frontier themselves.

    Not a bad premise, but nothing terribly riveting. There's lots of contemporary language like "cool!" thrown around and everybody sort of plays fast and loose with Starfleet regulations. It's a very straight-forward time-honored traditional Star Trek approach. One that's been copied, homaged, rebranded and parodied. Heck, I think there’s a strong argument that this is CBS’s answer to The Orville.

    I suppose I expect a little more to convince me why this show needs to exist. Is it just an excuse to give us a planet-of-the-week show, or is it striving to be something more?

    At least the cast is pretty good, with Mount creating a brooding but optimistic atmosphere. Christina Chong plays an ominously named La’an Noonien-Singh, who turns out to be the most interesting thing about the show so far. Peck, who's reprising his Spock from DISCO gives a promising performance too. The recasts of Uhura and Nurse Chapel are serviceable enough.

    The jury is still out on Kirk 3.0 but here’s hoping!

    maybe I've been so beaten down that my standards have lowered to where a perfectly cromulent "planet of the week" episode is the best Trek since Enterprise ended. If so, there it is.

    If thats all SNW is, just The Orville without the dick and fart jokes, I can live with that. At least it won't feel like someone is actively trying to make me hate the franchise I've loved for 30+ years

    Thoroughly enjoyed it. A real trekky feel to me. Interesting and hopeful and sci-fi.

    A few clunky moments but a great pilot.

    Looking forward to the next one.

    3.5 stars from me.

    Sounds like this might be at least marginally better than DSC or PIC from the opinions here from the names I recognize from the PIC forum.

    I haven't watched this episode yet. I'll put PIC a little further in the rearview first. This I'm tempted to let run its season course and then watch all at once.

    This is felt like a weak prologue..wasn't anyone else disappointed there weren't any actual strange new worlds here AT ALL..just random humanoid generic aliens and the same old story trope of two warring factions ..why would they do that in the PILOT..doesn't bode strange wondrous new lifeforms..not even humanoid ones..why not give us at least one new unique if humanoid life form like the Kelpians..did anyone else feel this way?

    And what the hell is a SAMUEL KIRK?? Is this something ALT TIMELINE TWIST?? Kirk didn't have a brother did he? Is this leading to some funky temporal alien shenanigans..why has no one else commented on thjs??

    @Jeffery's Tube
    "And apparently America starts WWIII as an outgrowth of a second Civil War. And apparently that can be traced to the January 6th insurrection."

    Wait... what?

    Is this now canon for real?


    "Can we not go one thread without someone losing their shit and tearing a strip off someone else?"

    Unfortunately - probably not.

    It's funny how so many "fans" of the new shows (not all of them - of course) are more interested in lashing out at others then they are in ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT THE SHOW THEY CLAIM TO LOVE.

    @Chris Lopes
    "I am forced to admit this one is pretty good. If they can keep it up, we may have a winner."

    First episode of every new series was always like that.

    Actually, I’ll amend my review. This is like The Orville without the jokes

    I'm not watching this until the 5th episode, at least.

    I stopped watching Discovery and Picard and don't regret it, and I also don't regret holding off watching S2 of Picard despite the glowing reviews of the first 2 episodes.

    Either this will remain good, or descend into rubbish like the other series have done. Thank you to the test pilots who are willing to donate their time to see which one it is.

    I loved it!
    The set design of the bridge was just gorgeous!
    I loved Pike’s uniform with those shiny sections on the cuffs. It was just a beautiful show in general.
    The characters are already so likable. The doctor was adorable.
    The story felt very Next Gen or Voyager.
    I think I’m really going to enjoy this series!

    Meh. This episode reminds me of Roger Ebert‘d line in his Star Trek Nemesis review: “I've been looking at these stories for half a lifetime, and, let's face it, they're out of gas.”

    And that was 20 years ago.

    This show wants to be Retro Trek but classic Trek was about ideas and this plodding pilot doesn’t have anything original to say. It has a Prime Directive, first contact plot that feels like a reheated casserole of TOS and TNG. If this is the best this show has, I don’t know why it exists. Nothing is new, the familiar characters and elements are more “oh look” than fun, and everything feels tired. Including the final speech, which feels more like early TNG Picardian excess than Kirkian bluster.

    TOS was fun and original; TNG and DS9 were thoughtful and sometimes fun too. Not a single other live action Star Trek series has reached those heights. And the returns keep diminishing with each show to the point that now we’re retelling the entire TOS era without any of the pleasures of the old show. Beam me out of here! Paramount, please stop.

    Star Trek is back! Feels like the classic Trek that we have been missing. So much fun -- loved it! Anson Mount is right up there as one of the best captains along with Kirk and Picard. He really rings true in the role. Fingers crossed that this very promising first episode will not be a fluke. If you are on the fence, know that it is well-worth a look.

    Pretty solid! Best NuTrek since approximately season 2 of DISCO, or perhaps the recent Lower Decks episodes.

    Of course Picard had a promising start before going off the rails (in both seasons), but I remain an optimist.

    -plot was straightforward and resolved itself in a timely fashion. No mystery boxes.
    -dialogue is fun and snappy, unlike Picard where the characters sounded like twitter posts at times
    -aesthetically I loved the mix of old and new. Pike’s quarters were a particular highlight
    -sci fi problem solving us back!
    -La’an is an intriguing character. Pike and Spock have an easy repartee, and the doctor and Chapel were fun. Feel like I might actually like these people.

    My number one concern is that they’ll lift TOS stories whole cloth. The season’s sizzle reel had a moment that looked like a by the numbers retread of Amok Time. No thanks.

    Definitely looking forward to next week. Maybe it will be a desecration of the last vestiges of Trek, but hey, it wouldn’t be a voyage without a bit of uncertainty.

    3/4 stars


    "Is this now canon for real? "

    If true, this is really embarrassing. Even putting aside the political controversy, it's already dating your show before it starts. At last TOS had the good sense to delay Khan for a good 30 years.

    I'd like to be optimistic about a new Trek show. I'm hearing some good things here, and it would be nice to have a reason to actually watch one of these shows. But I won't jump to any conclusions yet.

    I think some of you guys might be missing the point of this episode in particular was not to have an interesting first-contact plot, it was to put the focus on Pike's character. The setting is generic (basically an Earth clone, only with some better prosthetics) purposefully, because we're only on this mission in particular to watch Pike transform from a broken man who may be finished with Starfleet to someone who finds in his own foreknowledge of death a counterintuitive source of strength (a realization La'an helped him with). It has serious echoes of DS9's Emissary, or actually The Cage.

    Really, there are a finite number of sci-fi stories that can be told within the Trekverse before you just hit on variations on the same theme - an issue past shows bumped up against. However, there really are no limits to the number of interesting stories you can create with stock scenarios if you drop interesting and well-constructed characters into them, since every character should react a bit differently - make different choices - which makes the scenario interesting. We do see that here, because although Pike gets to make a "big speech" ala Kirk or Picard, the content is very much rooted in where he is right now as a character - in his own knowledge of mortality. He's not a plot marionette at all here, which is refreshing.

    So it was a decent episode overall, but I'm going to quibble anyway. Let's start with what annoyed me the most.

    So let me understand this. The Gorn captured a Federation colony ship and used the colonists on one of their hatchery as a mixture of food and incubators. Like, I understand the Federation is pretty understanding in the future, but I feel like a lot of species would be....hmm...not kind to any Gorn they ever interact with.

    I also feel like the WW3 footage was a bit...much. Admittedly my WW3 headcanon was basically a threeway nuclear exchange between China/India/Pakistan. Certainly ecologically devastating, but it'd be something that may be more survivable for humanity overall? Especially considering how...burnt Earth was at the end, I'd have a feeling humanity would be struggling a bit more.

    Also didn't First Contact have the first warp capable human ship be built upon a nuclear missile? Were a bunch just...not fired? Also wouldn't Montana and the rest of the US missile fields in the central US be a wasteland if it was a global exchange?

    The whole "Second US Civil War" is a trope of scifi at this point. I guess when Lily thought they were getting attacked by the "Eastern Coalition" at the start of First Contact, they meant the Eastern seaboard of the US. Whatever, it's dumb, but as long as this doesn't become a repeating message in Strange New Worlds, I'll happily overlook it.

    Overall though....not bad at all. Probably the best Star Trek feeling out of any of the first episodes of NuTrek.

    However, I thought the first episode of Picard had an interesting premise, before they went into Mass Effect 3 territory with the season ending, and season 2 was....I have no idea, beyond complete torture. Discovery has been a slog to go through as well. Lorca and Saru have been the only two highlights, and Lorca has been gone for a while (what a missed opportunity there.)

    Let's see if Strange New Worlds keeps up the good opening, or just crashes and burns after 3 episodes to become nothing more than a multihour train wreck that I can't look away from.

    That episode was better than all of Discovery and Picard combined. Is the security chief the same actress who played Drummer from The Expanse?

    I admit the scenes where it showed major cities being nuked is a bit chilling. Much like Pike, I feel like the destiny of humans is predetermined. Nuclear war seems inevitable at some point. I just hope, like in Star Trek, we can recover from it.

    Felt nice to have episodic Trek back and there were definitely some things that made it feel like classic Trek with a planet having 2 warring factions (old trope), a PD debate, dressing up as aliens, and some Trekkian platitudes like the future is what we make it, learning from another culture's mistakes, remarkable growth is possible etc. Overall an OK pilot that sets up a series adequately.

    For me, I always compare stuff with canon and there are a few things that didn't sit well. The stardate given for Pike in Montana is 1739.12. By that stardate, Kirk was already commanding the Enterprise. Also, T'Pring and Spock getting ready to shag -- this didn't seem appropriate. I guess later on she hooks up with Stonn... Such an annoying conversation they had with the query this, query that. Not well written on the whole.

    As for Pike and the visions of his future, I think they've managed to turn it into a useful plot device so far. Although it might become annoying to see Pike having these visions in every episode.

    As for the rest of the crew (other than Spock) -- they seem rather immature. But that's what you get from today's actors. Granted Chapel and Uhura are much younger but they also seem far less professional.

    La'an appears to have an interesting backstory with dealing with the Gorn. Some violation of canon here, unless Pike keeps her story to himself and Spock and Federation databanks never finds out. They got April now as an admiral, the first commander of the Enterprise (from the TAS episode "The Counter-Clock Incident" except that he was white!) Definitely a bit of hand-waiving to deal with a PD violation when the senior staff all gather in the board room. How Pike dealt with the situation reminded me a bit of "A Taste of Armageddon" -- he certainly took matters into his own hands, although differently than what Kirk did.

    2.5 stars for "Strange New Worlds" -- an odd title for this pilot though a lot can be read into it for what Pike is going through. Pacing was good, the mechanics weren't bad, but there's nothing really excellent here. SNW is trying to do what DSC S1 failed at -- namely, being a new Star Trek series in the period before TOS and will rely on familiarity to appease the classic Trek aficionado.

    "If true, this is really embarrassing. Even putting aside the political controversy, it's already dating your show before it starts. At last TOS had the good sense to delay Khan for a good 30 years."

    If you're talking about the timeline, ST:Picard has already screwed that with a manned mission to Jupiter in 2024.

    And at least the *idea* of Kahn is just as relevant today as it was in the 1960's. Sure, we didn't have genetic supermen in 1992, but the very idea of such a person rising to power can resonate with a modern audience.

    On the other hand, a moral that says "our political rivals in the 2020s are so evil that they've trigerred WWIII. Ha ha, aren't we the greatest?" is going to get dated in a few years, when the political landscape shifts again.

    Classic Trek has never done this. When the old shows made "political" commentary, it was done in a timeless manner. Even in the most sledgehammery Trek moral plays, like "Let that Be Your Last Battlefield" or "A Private Little War" , the focus was always on timeless ideals rather than on pointing fingers to blame an easy contemporary target.

    (just imagine if we had a '50s era Trek-like show that blamed the "commies" for everything. From today's perspective, it would look laughable)

    Good start to this new series! Great introduction to all the new characters, and I like the way we pick up with Pike and Spock where we left them off in DSC. Pike's future haunting him will be an interesting aspect of his character. This descendant of Khan is quite interesting, and I must admit, I had a feeling the "Kirk surprise" wasn't necessarily going to be James T! The story itself wasn't earth shattering, but served its purpose to get us off the ground and introduce these characters. Not sure what I think of the whole T'Pring thing, but will keep an open mind. Perhaps that's the last we will see of her, who knows. Definitely curious about this Enaar (spelling) chief engineer we haven't seen yet.

    I'm going to watch it again tomorrow because I'm sure there are things that I missed. Looking forward to the road ahead.

    3.5 Stars

    "For me, I always compare stuff with canon and there are a few things that didn't sit well. The stardate given for Pike in Montana is 1739.12. By that stardate, Kirk was already commanding the Enterprise. "

    Stardates never made much sense anyway, at least not without some serious fan-made acrobatics.

    Speaking of which:

    My own head canon regarding stardates is that we're given only the last few digits of the date. So after 9999.9, comes 0000.0. The idea is pretty similar to the way we omit the century when writing dates in MM/DD/YY format. The length of one cycle of 10000.0 stardates is somewhat variable but always in the very rough neighborhood of 10 years.

    According to this theory, the date you've cited would be (say) 31739 while the first episode of TOS would be at 41312. These will be shortened to 1739 and 1312 respectively. :-)

    TOS Star Dates were a mess without any rhyme or reason.

    By TNG they had standardized them a bit. Stardates beginning with 41 are from the 24th century, 1st season of TNG, all the way up to All Good Things' Stardate 47988.

    DS9 and Voyager just kept going with the numbering from there.

    "The whole "Second US Civil War" is a trope of scifi at this point. "

    There are places on the internet, the kind you wouldn't visit without a hazmat suit, where it's more than a trope. To the natives of such places it's a hope and a dream for a better (white supremacist) tomorrow. It would be foolish to think they don't mean it.

    Putting aside the usual nitpicks and plot holes we can always find....

    I felt like I was watching STAR TREK. I have to say that alone left this feeling like a happy experience for me. I can put aside the criticisms if this is where they are heading.

    I don't follow the behind the scenes workings, but whomever is running this one has decided to be completely off course from DISC and PIC and attempt to get back to the roots. I am quite satisfied after Ep 1

    It is nice to get a story, a resolution, a message, and not have to sit back for the next three days trying to twist and turn in my head to try to explain away all the messy writing.

    Based on what we have went through the last few years, this is a nice 3 star episode in my view.

    It felt like Star Trek. That's the biggest compliment I can give it.

    Captain Pike behaves like a Star Trek captain should—yet he isn't perfect. All the other characters were more fleshed out and immediately interesting than any of the characters in Discovery and Picard—save for Saru.

    The story was straightforward and very pertinent to our current world. It didn't need any mystery boxes to keep us hooked; that characters and writing did that.

    Yes, it could go down hill but I think the show's strengths and format will counter that. I'm looking forward to the next one; and it makes it makes may happy to say and feel that.

    WWIII is apparently an outgrowth of a second American CivIl War, according to this episode. It starts as that, becomes the Eugenics Wars, and then erupts into WWIII. So certainly the “Second American Civil War” isn’t the entire culprit, but it IS the inciting incident.

    And the January 6th insurrection is one of the identifiable events that starts America down the path to the Second Civil War. But the conflict isn’t set to erupt until the late 2040s. There are certainly many other factors at play, including fictional elements from the Star Trek universe like Sanctuary Districts and the paranoia shown by the American government that is indicated by the oppressive security situation at the Europa gala. Plus the stormtrooper ICE agents that bear little resemblance to actual ICE agents (who do the same things but, by and large, not in the same mustache-twirlingly evil manner devoid of all humanity).

    So the insurrection is hardly the proximate cause. To me, it felt less like the show was insinuating that and more like it included the footage as a warning that we need to do better, because it was timely. Remember that this season was filmed a long time ago now thanks to the pandemic. The show has just premiered a single episode, but the second season is already in the can.

    Ok, so this didn't exactly reinvent the wheel and was very much by the numbers, and considering the abysmal track record of the team behind this, one should remain really sceptical and yadda yadda yadda, yet...

    ... As someone who has always tried to like the new trek stuff yet often descended into borderline hate watching, I am happy to see that, hey, it seems to not be just about me. Cause I liked this. So, interesting to look at why I liked it, since supposedly the only reason why I generally am not very impressed by nutrek is nostalgia or racism or misoginy or whatever.

    So, here's a short list about what made me like this :

    - ensemble show where they actually invest the effort to establish the ensemble. Nice. Feels like after one episode I know more about the ensemble than about the discovery crew. Could it be possible that a show can focus on its lead (as this one clearly also does) and *still* develop the ensemble in an efficient way? According to the DSC apologetics Bible, it can't be done. What can I say, sure looks like it can be done.
    - this feels like an actual cast. Solid acting all around (chapel a bit rough but still fine with me). Even some chemistry. Rocket science!
    - tight direction, editing and overall sense of timing. This one especially makes me cautiously optimistic, since apparently Picard s2e1 and 2 were done by the same guy who's at the helm here, and there I also thought "finally the Picard series gets some competent editing" before it then went downhill in an almost unbelievable manner.
    - as B5 and BSG fan, I am always open to long plot arcs, yet DSC and Picard have clearly shown that the writers in charge had no idea how to do that in a competent way. So, if the solution is to just do episodic work, hey, if it works?
    - re: "wokeness". I laughed out loud when the trump riot stuff was quickly shown. Oh my, this will likely trigger many conservative trek fans (a phenomenon that I never understood), but for me, this is nice. Because while as a Euro Leftie I would probably be considered a communist by US standards, the DSC wokeness always felt super awkward to me. Tacked on. Pretend. Preachy. Dishonest (tilly gained weight? Off you go! Trans character? Let's use the 80s trill excuse and reduce the character to transness. All this crap). Just super clunky.

    But here, it's just a little touch that manages to be a super clear statement without yelling at the audience "look! How! Woke! I! Am!"
    So much better.

    Same issue, supposedly the only reason why I don't like Burnam or Raffi is racism! Or misoginy! Better, both!

    So why do I instantly like Uhura here? Certainly not because it's "Uhura". I don't care much about TOS. But the actress managed to develop twice the screen presence with a handful of lines than Raffi in 2 seasons. And finally for once, the writers don't do a black actress the disservice of assigning some super forced cringeworthy angsty random crap, but just let the character breathe.

    Please, just let her be herself. No childhood traumas as character depth placebo. Pretty please. Thank you.

    Of course the fan service is a bit obvious at times. And in all its by-the-book-ness, it continously reminded me of star wars 7, which essentially also just retold a new hope in modern clothing. But you know what? I didn't mind star wars 7. I was entertained. Sure, after that I went downhill really badly, so I guess we will have to see what happens next with SNW too.

    But so far, so good.

    Oh, and final observation : it felt appropriately big. DSC and Picard always feel borderline claustrophobic to me, never reaching the level where it feels like it plays before the gigantic backdrop that is the established trek universe, never escaping that "3-5 people in a room" vibe.

    This one nailed that right away. It's hard to put a finger in what it is. It can't just be the amount and quality of CGI, cause DSC certainly has tons of that.

    The goal to strive for, regarding episodic vs long-form serial is, ironically, a Star Trek show that's already been done: DS9.

    Every episode had a well-defined plot, even the ones in the thickest part of the war. The only episodes that didn't were the single title, multi-part episodes. Even the big 10-episode final run at the end of season seven had 9 well-defined plots for each outing. DS9 showed how to balance an episodic structure with a long arc that builds characters and allows them to grow and change over the course of the season. Look how Dukat evolved from season 1 to season 7. Sure, in the end, he was still an opportunistic snake, but he got to play the hero and the villain in multiple ways throughout the show's run.

    DS9 is the goal. Do that.

    This was good; heck, this is great as a start. Sure, there are probably some quibbles here and there, and as Science Fiction it’s probably not much to speak of, but as the first episode in a new Star Trek show, it absolutely nailed (almost) everything I was hopeful for. An optimistic, lighthearted tone? Check. A solid, well-rounded ensemble filled with likeable characters? Check. A focus on dialogue and character over action? Check.
    I’m hoping they can maintain this level of enjoyment for at least the rest of the season, because after Discovery, (and what I’ve heard of Picard) I could really do with some more of this.

    @Jeffery's Tube
    "And the January 6th insurrection is one of the identifiable events that starts America down the path to the Second Civil War."

    ...which makes no kind of sense what so ever.

    America was already down this route way before January 2021. The boiling point were the riots of Summer 2020, which is the very latest time you could point to as "starting America down the path to a second civil war". Shall I remind you who was responsible for setting the entire nation on fire back then?

    In fact, I would argue that the process has already began a few years earlier. The 2016 elections were one of the ugliest political affairs the nation has ever witnessed. In the late 2010's, cancel culture and demonizing others became social norms. Many of the worrying trends that blew up in 2020 were already set in motion a few years back.

    Now, if we had a classic Trek show today, it would have dealt with these issues without pointing fingers. It would have openly discussed - through allegory - the dangers of cancel culture, bullying mobs, media demonizing and so forth.

    Unfortunately, it is clear that Nu Trek does not possess this kind of integrity, so instead they've chosen to mask a political cheap shot as some kind of morality play.

    Oh... and if you want to blame me for politicizing the discussion, then I have three things to say to you:
    1. The show has already politicized the issue.
    2. I don't think a person who says:
    "I am sure I will now have to endure a ton of outraged right-wing comments about the 'woke' Star Trek producers pushing an agenda and blah blah blah, so I will preemptively say 'shut up and stop proving them right.'

    is in any position to accuse others of politicizing anything.

    3. I'm not even right-wing.

    By the way, when I told my wife about this new canon tidbit, she said something to the effect of "Wow. How low could they get...".

    And she is even more left-leaning then I am.

    "here are certainly many other factors at play, including fictional elements from the Star Trek universe like Sanctuary Districts..."

    You know, that would have been a great angle to take, because it's politically neutral.

    We don't have real Sanctuary Districts. Neither side of the political map supports building such things. Yet, in the real world, we *do* have an alarmingly blase attitude towards human dignity and human rights. It's a very big and very real problem of our times, and the fictional Sanctuary Districts are a great way to raise awareness to this issue without blaming anyone in reality.

    "So the insurrection is hardly the proximate cause. To me, it felt less like the show was insinuating that and more like it included the footage as a warning that we need to do better, because it was timely."

    I get this.

    But I still maintain that it was a bad choice.

    They wanted a timely example? Well, the entire world has gone bananas just a year before. Surely, after all the craziness of 2020, they could have picked a better "timely" example that doesn't show their political hand so bluntly?

    By the way, I find this entire attempt at a morality play to be hilarious given the way actual history has played out since this early 2021. We *are* on the brink of WWIII right now, even though the "good guys" (according to hollywood morality) are in office. Reality has such quirky sense of humor, sometimes ;-)

    @Chris Lopes
    "There are places on the internet, the kind you wouldn't visit without a hazmat suit, where it's more than a trope. To the natives of such places it's a hope and a dream for a better (white supremacist) tomorrow. It would be foolish to think they don't mean it. "

    Oh, they mean it alright. But they are a tiny minority.

    Meanwhile, there millions of crazed extremists on the other side, who are perfectly willing to set the entire nation on fire just because they see "a white supremacist" in every person that doesn't agree with them.

    We've seen this in action in the summer of 2020. People rioted, took entire cities hostage, vandalized businesses and terrorized the population. This went for months on end.

    Remind me when was the last time we've seen this level of violence (especially on this scale) from an alt-right mob?

    Also, please refresh my memory: how did the right respond to the riots of Summer 2020? How did Trump (the scariest boogeyman of them all) responded? How did the conservatives on the streets respond?

    I think its a downright miracle that the situation didn't devolve into a full-blown civil war. I don't think that I - personally - would have been able to sit quietly and do nothing when such atrocities are happening around me. Yet, somehow, there was seldom any kind of response.

    Face it: The extreme left tried to stage a situation in which they goad the right into doing something extremely stupid... and it backfired spectacularly. Thankfully, the sane majority (from both sides of the political map) were smart enough to refrain from biting the bait.

    @Frank A. Booze No it's not Cara Gee but I thought she was a discount Drummer too lol. Maybe she'll grow on me but I found her mildly annoying.

    This is the first episode i've actually found myself thinking about afterwards in a long time (when I should be working). The foreknowledge of your own terrible fate.. that would have some really interesting effects on your choices and action.

    Great stuff.

    And yeah it looked gorgeous. Some really nice artistic stuff here.

    Pike was fantastic from start to finish. That man can really carry a show amazingly moreso than Stewart now but then age might be a factor sadly.

    Wow, this was a great start to this new series! A great captain with sound advice, in the mold of TOS where he makes decisions himself that are not necessarily diplomatic ("Look I have the bigger stick!"). Wouldn't see Picard doing that in TNG.

    The whole crew (sans the chief engineer, more on him next week no doubt) gets their moments to shine and we get to know them. Lots of humor sprinkled in that gave me laughs through the show.

    Interesting how they brought up the US as of now with a prediction that this lead to a second civil war, and world war 3, as an example for the foreign world NOT to follow. Quite appropriate in my humble opinion, but there is one HUGE difference that this new Star Trek universe has that we don't have in the present: unlimited clean power available to everyone. Where is clean nuclear fusion when we need it?

    All in all a solid start of this show, certainly worthy of 3 stars out of 4.


    FWIW, Pike was pitching his message to two warring factions. It was explicitly not meant as a message of which side was right, and which side was wrong. The message was "if we fight one another, rather than unite, everyone loses."

    As for the choice of the January 6th, while I think Goldsman (who was also the director) was making a political point, it could also be seen as similar to what he did in the episode of Picard Season 1 he directed - just using whatever cheap stock footage he could find online to pad the video out.

    @Karl Zimmermann "I think some of you guys might be missing the point of this episode in particular was not to have an interesting first-contact plot, it was to put the focus on Pike's character. The setting is generic (basically an Earth clone, only with some better prosthetics) purposefully,"

    Or perhaps we have reasons to be very skeptical that NuTrek writers can deliver anything else, which would be a serious problem for this show. And, despite being alright, this episode did nothing to dispel these fears. I think this is worth pointing out.

    @Chris Lopes Those racists represent an extreme minority that the MSM goes out of their way to paint as a large-scale movement associated with Republicans. There are indeed places on the Internet on BOTH the extreme right AND the extreme left that require a hazmat suit to visit. The 80% of us who are in the middle and try to take a balanced approach to life should simply ignore the radicals on both sides.


    Fair enough. My understanding is this script was something of a "proof of concept." Henry Alonso Myers has said Goldsman wrote it before he ever joined the series as co-showrunner and formed the writer's room. So I'd expect this to be "generic" - considering both that Goldman wrote it and they hadn't really broken down the season as a whole yet.

    @Jeffrey's Tube This is precisely why we can't have civil debate in this country over differing yet legitimate political viewpoints. Calling January 6th an "insurrection" is a joke being perpetrated by one side of the aisle and their allies in the MSM. 700 idiots running around the Capitol breaking stuff and taking selfies is NOT an "insurrection". 70,000 armed people running around DC killing anyone in a position of power IS an "insurrection", much like we've seen in third-world countries. So let's dispense with the extremist language used to paint political enemies in a bad light. We need more rational, balanced debate instead of partisan rhetoric... And since I'm sure you will imply I'm "right-wing", I'm actually Libertarian and vote based on the candidate and their positions, not the party.

    Well said Shannon. The problem is most people cannot think for themselves or make significant decisions that affect others. It's just in their nature to follow along and accept the narrative presented to them. Most on this forum fall in this category. Very smart people but not leaders or true free-thinkers.

    Let's nip this in the bud right here, homies.
    It was an insurrection. You are simply saying "it wasn't as bad as a third world country so it doesn't count". That's such a slippery slope LOL.
    The president of the US told people to March on the governing body of the us in order to change the outcome of a fair election and people died in the attempt.

    There just ain't nothing else to call it.

    All the positive comments is amazing to see!

    I think we should consider not getting to down that rabbit hole of Jan 6th to WW3 in Star Trek canon. It's a no win scenario for anyone debating it. I personally am going to leave WW3 and Eugenics wars out of my zone of what I care about. Those Trek events have to keep being changed anyways as time moves forward and they are trying to shoe horn it into real world events which is just going to get fans mad at one another. One less thing to argue about is a good thing to me. We can argue all day with bots on twitter if we really want to talk about Trump :)

    It is better than the other two LA shows from a glance. But honestly, if I judged DISC on the first 2 episodes...

    I like the aesthetic far better, thus far. The ships look good, and you get the unique to NuTrek sense that they think it's better to actually finish a ship design rather than decide to create half a ship, tap your head and say, "It's held together by invisible quantum glue", or, "It's made of nano-magic and can change shapes whenever I want it to."

    And... its liberal messaging is at least delivered in a way that works in context and, unlike the other shows, doesn't so much remind you of a 6 year old yelling, "Ban the bomb!"

    So, we'll see.

    Regarding the insurrection, WW3, etc.

    Excited for our real world tragedies to creep closer and closer to Star Trek’s doomsday fiction until we come to the point where Pike or whomever can just point to footage of a real world nuclear explosion or climate catastrophe and be like “that happened to humanity on June 12th, 2028.”


    On January 6th, the sitting president of the United States by way of blatant lying goaded an armed mob into attacking the Congress of the United States as it was executing the will of the people according to its function and according to the fundamental democratic principles which govern this nation, because that will of the people was about to remove him from power and he did not wish to be removed from power.

    So you can see how that might be a little more on-point with regard to being a precursor to a fictional upcoming Second American Civil War than the protests of 2020. It’s just a bit more portentous, no? A bit more to do with the actual levers of power in the country, yes?

    @ Shannon

    Ask yourself what would have happened if the mob at the Capitol that day had achieved their goal and tell me again that it wasn’t an insurrection. Tell me what would have happened if they had burst into the chambers of Congress while the members of Congress were sitting and conducting the business of government. Tell me what would have happened if they had come across Nancy Pelosi or Mike Pence in the halls.

    Even if there was no possibility of violence whatsoever—and surely you don’t believe that—their purpose was to thwart the functioning of the legitimate government as it carried out the democratic will of the people.

    Do not kid yourself. That is an insurrection. January 6th is what an insurrection looks like, and none other.

    I’ve no doubt there were many people present who were just swept along in the moment without much thought for what they were actually doing. Just as I am sure those same people would have been swept along in the moment as others present started stringing up our elected representatives by the neck on the gallows they erected outside. Because that, too, is what an insurrection looks like. People swept along in a mob mentality.

    We are all of us lucky it was such an impromptu, incompetent one. But that doesn’t change the nature of what happened.

    Anyway, back to Star Trek. I’ve now watched this episode twice. Sure, it’s really just an average Star Trek episode. But it’s the real deal.


    Good observation about the episode really being constructed a around a thematic journey for Pike, with the particular planetary conundrum the Enterprise encounters having been picked by these writers to serve that journey rather than being important for itself.

    It’s much less of a grand, exciting series premiere episode than any of the other Star Trek pilots have been. For one, it’s only a single hour, and all the others have been two-parters. Except Picard, but that one’s a different kind of show in the Star Trek universe. A character study rather than being about a crew. It also occurs to me that it’s more of a spin-off than any of the other shows (again, except Picard). The other shows are “spin-offs,” but largely feature new characters. Pike and Spock here are the main characters and we already know them pretty well.

    The show could have come out of the gate attempting to make a bigger statement for itself. It might have been cool if it did. But I certainly don’t mind that it didn’t. I’ll take a solid single episode with some excellent character work over some big-plot two-part series opener any day.

    The most famous insurrection, the Storming of the Bastille, the flashpoint of the French revolution, involved 600 to 1000 people. January 6th involved 2000 to 2500 penetrating the Capitol building.

    Meanwhile, Third World coups do not necessarily involve "thousands of people". Trinidad and Tobago was couped in the early 1990s, Parliament stormed and the government removed by just a couple dozen men.

    OK, the long begining with the reluctant Pike not neccesaray as well as dragging Spock away from his girl. I am not to fond of getting the team Togethrt. Still, corret me if I am wrong, it must have been the longest scene with to vulkans talking to another about other things than earthlings. Intresting.

    The scene when Chappel chased the alien and Uhura in the lift whas quite funny.

    The plot did not impress me. I thing they missed a chanse of doing something with a first contact theme.

    It was a fair start and something to build on. But I think I said something similar after the first episode of Picard season two.

    Good episode. It's nice to be able to say that, "good episode," rather than "promising start, but we'll see how they pay it off." Even if every single episode following this one is utter dogshit, this episode will still be good in a bubble, in a way that no DIS or PIC episodes can manage due to the mystery-box storytelling of those shows. I like all of the crew so far, with the exception of Ortegas and Uhura, neither of whom get much time to shine in this episode. In one hour, they manage to define multiple characters better than DIS did for ANY of its leads in the three seasons I watched before giving up on it.

    The behavior of some people in these comments sections is downright embarrassing.

    "OK, the long begining with the reluctant Pike not neccesaray as well as dragging Spock away from his girl."

    I don't know about the Spock/Tpring thing, but reluctant Pike is certainly in character. Even in The Cage/The Menagerie, you had a Pike who was very seriously questioning his career choice. So the Nu Trek penchant for navel gazing fits this time.

    @Jeffrey's Tube.... Tell you what, let's look at the numbers published by The LA Times, which is certainly a left-leaning media outlet. This day started out as a peaceful protest with around 30,000 people, give or take 5,000, exercising their right to assemble (granted their protest was based on a total falsehood that the election was stolen, but it's still their right to protest and be stupid nonetheless). Then, when things started to get too rowdy, most of those folks left, with around 2,000 heading to the Capitol grounds. Now according to the LA Times, there were a little over 1,200 armed Capitol Police officers on the grounds, with several hundred in the Capitol building. Things took a turn for the worst when around 700 of those rioters breached the building. DC police had responded within 15 minutes of the breach to enhance the Capitol Police's numbers, while several thousand National Guard troops sat at the Pentagon for over 3 hours despite the Pentagon asking the Capitol Police and Pelosi's office numerous times during the first two hours if they needed help, only to be told "NO". As for these rioters being "armed", that's a gray area. Less than 10 have been charged with carrying a firearm on the Capitol grounds. A few hundred were "armed" with bats, knives, and bear spray. Contrast that to over 1,200 trained officers armed with guns.

    No, I don't believe this fits the definition of an "insurrection", which is "a violent uprising against an authority or government". I believe this was a violent riot that should have been quelled by the over 1,200 armed officers who were on the grounds, as well as the several thousand National Guard troops who could have been there within minutes. Do I blame the president? In part, yes. He couldn't accept defeat, so he is responsible for riling up those morons who breached the Capitol. More than 700 have been arrested, and if the evidence warrants it, they should all do significant jail time for what they did.

    But as you said, back to Star Trek. We can agree to disagree on definitions, but I think you and I do agree that those idiots who broke the law that day deserve to be punished.

    Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
    season 1 episode 1

    Strange New Worlds

    “And Gene said, let there be Pike.”

    - Star Trek Bible

    * * * (out of 4 stars)

    In a lot of ways it is much easier to review a pilot, since there are only a handful to compare it to. This is third pilot for Pike: (1) the unaired "Cage" for the original Star Trek; (2) the man who recruited Kirk in the re-booted movies; and now (3) Pike launches hist latest Star Trek venture: Strange New Worlds.

    Well, I saw the Pike, and it was good, and I was happy.

    For such a simple and straightforward mission, there are some really big themes running through the pilot. The biggest one of all is tragedy.

    In the old Greek Tragedies everyone knew what was going to happen. The characters did everything they could to avoid it. But to no avail. You can’t cheat fate.

    In Strange New Worlds, we know how Pike’s life is going to go. In 10 years he will suffer a horrible accident that will leave him disfigured and completely paralyzed, able only to beep once for yes, twice for no. We’ve known this since 1966, when “The Menagerie” first aired.

    In Strange New Worlds, we also know how Spock’s romance is going to end. 13 years after “The Cage", T’pring will take up with a pure-blooded Vulcan while Spock is busy galavanting around the galaxy with Starfleet. We’ve known that since 1967, when “Amok Time” first aired.

    And in Strange New Worlds, we know how Sam Kirk is going to die. Soon after “Amok Time", Sam will die on Deneva, killed by a single-celled creature. We’ve known that since 1967, when "Operation - Annihilate!” first aired.

    What’s fascinating about SNW, is that each of these men, Pike, Spock, and Sam, have very different levels of awareness about their fates.

    Pike has actually experienced his fate. The last time we had a predetermined death this interesting in scifi, it was Londo at the hands of G’Kar on B5.

    Spock doesn’t have that pre-knowledge. But he should have an inkling that it is possible his relationship with T’pring could be killed by his career. When Spock tells T’Pring that his oath to starfleet and his oath of marriage will compliment each other, T’pring says she is skeptical. She tells him that she will not chase him all over the galaxy. Each time you are in a romantic relationship, there is of course the chance that it could end. And each time you make a decision in the course of that relationship, you are adjusting the probabilities that it will endure or it will fall apart. We know that Spock’s relationship with T’pring will fall apart. That’s going to add a very interesting dimension to how we experience their relationship as the show goes on.

    Also, can I just say: bravo to casting on whoever found T’pring. Gorgeous!

    Finally there is Sam Kirk. Like all of us, he too knows that one day he will die. Of course being in Starfleet brings its own unique dangers. But like all of us, he is ignorant of when and where. So Sam, and his awesome 'stach, can simply kick back and enjoy being on the flagship of the Federation.

    And what a flagship it is! Here we are with the best and brightest. None of the losers, outcasts, and renegades we’ve been traveling with through 4 seasons of Discovery, 2 season of Picard, half a season of Prodigy, and for that matter, DS9 and Voyager too.

    These are full-on Starfleet officers at the top of their game. We haven’t seen that since Enterprise!

    Sure enough, there is a welcome dose of competency and professionalism that comes with being on the flagship. Spock calls out a bridge crew member who uses language that is a little informal. The temporary first officer has a spotless record. The real first officer, Number One, is kick-ass. The Doc is fantastic. The nurse is from Stanford. This is the fucking A-team baby.

    The pilot is a back-to-basics exercise with even tone and competency.

    The humor is welcome. Pike tells a great joke at Spock’s expense (Spock: “As you know the Vulcans invented First Contact.” Pike: “As they never fail to remind us.”). The two have an easy chemistry in a standout scene in the Captain’s Quarters.

    The emotions are spot on. Few talk about their feeling unless it is relevant to the plot.

    Speaking of the plot, here we have a civilization that has created a warp bomb without first passing through the discovery stage of warp travel. They flirted with civil war for a hundred years. And this new weapon seems like just the thing one faction needs to finally bring the other faction to their knees.

    The great thing is we have zero context as to which faction is the good guys. No emotional manipulation here. The True Enemy is War - not each other. Only in recognizing that simple truth can you hope to achieve peace.

    I am reminded that this episode was filmed a long time ago, back when the pandemic was front and center in everyone’s mind. It says something (sad?) about human nature, that the episode's theme of World War hangs so heavy in our lives today.

    Here on planet Earth, each faction in the latest and greatest war seems to have roughly half the world behind them. Each thinks they are - in the words of Pike - fighting for the right conception of liberty. The result of marching down this ridiculous road will no doubt be more death and destruction.

    If Star Trek wants to get preachy, then it certainly can do worse than preaching peace.

    As said by a later captain of the Enterprise,

    KIRK: We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers, but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes. Knowing that we won't kill today. Contact Vendikar. I think you'll find that they're just as terrified, appalled, horrified as you are, that they'll do anything to avoid the alternative I've given you. Peace or utter destruction. It's up to you.

    Finally special mention for Uhura, who is so cute in the pilot, I just want to grab her and hug her. She has a short scene taming a startled alien. But it really is effective. This actress nails Uhura’s energy. No offense to Zoe Saladana, who is smoking hot, and was very good in Guardians of the Galaxy, but Zoe's version of Uhura never struck me as anything like the original. This Uhura is much closer to the real thing.

    Then there’s La’an, who SNW seems to have copied straight from The Orville. Then again, if you’re gonna steal, steal from the best :)

    Number One and Nurse Chapel are really funny. There is a chance their snark might be too much going forward, but I actually enjoyed it here. And speaking of funny, the elevator scene with the sultry woman - no words at all - was hilarious.

    Lastly, let me be honest about what I didn’t care for, even if they are only minor quibbles:

    - I don’t think they did a good job showing how much smaller the Archer is than the Enterprise, which made the grand total of 3 crew-members on the Archer seem needlessly weird.

    - I wish they gave us a little more of a view of the Enterprise. The shuttle Stamets flyby was too short for me, but probably fine for people coming in fresh to Star Trek who aren't drying for a good look. It also mirrored Pike's mood at the time, so I suppose it makes sense.

    - The opening monologue was a fantastic troll! “Oh noes!" I thought, this is gonna suck as much as Michael! That said, I hope they don’t make a habit of it.

    - The bridge is a little dark. Yes, it is much brighter than Discovery or Picard. But they still need to go brighter to get the feel of TOS or TNG.

    - The pilot Ortegas didn’t really make much of a positive impression. Maybe they were going for a Sulu thing?

    And finally I’m going to end on a really random point, Pike’s hair is awesome. By far the best of any Captain we’ve had so far, including Janeway!

    YES, I am looking forward to this show. I know it got very mixed reviews:

    "And having now seen the first half of the first season (a second is already in production) I can say that Strange New Worlds will be a frustrating watch for fans. Frustrating because there are the bones of a really fun, interesting Star Trek series buried deep inside Strange New Worlds. Sadly, it’s trapped in the usual mix of faux-melodrama, clanging dialogue and dodgy plotting with the usual lapses in logic. Many writers are blind to their own flaws, which is why it’s so amusing that this is what Kurtzman and co. feel is a radical departure from their own work.”

    I am not willing to let anyone decide for me if - or how - I enjoy my Star Trek.

    And I enjoyed this Star Trek completely.


    I think we can both agree that an insurrection does not look like shooting some phaser rifles at flying drones because a small group of aliens have chosen to live simplistic lives on the fountain of youth and hog it all to themselves and you would like to sleep with their leader, heh.

    Reviews that people actually read:

    Even their user scores are pretty good.

    “You can have any opinion you want, as long as it is a negative one.” - These Comments

    @Jeffrey's Tube... LOL! Good one! As mistitled as that move is, I still enjoyed it, although some of the casting choices were rather questionable.

    @Prahip "“You can have any opinion you want, as long as it is a negative one.” - These Comments""

    I don't think that's entirely true. People like PIC, people even like DSC and they post a bit. They just don't often post huge walls of text or go off on tedious tangents about American and/or identity politics.

    Some people here clearly think they're a lot more amusing than they actually are and love to hate-watch then come back here and write something "hilarious" but just how it is.

    This was generally great and a very promising start. I might not be that young anymore but I'm not so cynical as to compare it to S2E1 of PIC and how that really dropped in quality.

    I was going to watch the Picard finale first, but couldn’t resist the lure of the New Show. Like the first Disco or Picard, this episode took me back to ‘93 and “Emissary” the launch of UPN with “Caretaker”, and the first post-9/11 Trek, “Broken Bow”. There’s just something special about a Trek premiere.

    “Strange New Worlds” did not disappoint. I must confess that the premiere of Inhumans (the first 9 or so minutes I endured) was my first taste of Anson Mount; he is just about perfect as Pike. I love how the future he saw of him in that chair continues to haunt him, a chip in his otherwise pristine Starfleet armor.

    Kirk and Picard may be the most famous captains in Trek history, but thanks to Bruce Greenwood and Anson Mount carrying on Jeffrey Hunter’s one-episode (yet still iconic) legacy, Pike is making a strong case with a fraction of the episodes.

    The rest of the cast? I can complain about anyone. I loved Babs in DUNC and he should make a great CMO beside Nurse Chapel, who is a wonderful ball of youthful energy. Peck is managing to find a new Spock between Nimoy and Quinto.

    Number One has this tranquil, wise aura about her. I loved her demeanor in prison, unflappable in a crisis like an XO should be. [Colonel Tigh nods approvingly in between sips of space hooch]

    Uhura’s new actor doesn’t have a ton to do, but makes the most of it, and I already prefer her to Saldaña, as much as I love Gamora.

    Na’an being a Khan descendant (dude got around) is intriguing and provides a nice sharp edge amongst all the Starfleet conviviality…she almost reminds me of a Nietzchean from Andromeda, in the best way.

    If it sounds like I’m only talking about the characters, that’s only because it’s such a strong group. Picard’s cast has grown strongEr in the second season, but in four seasons Discovery’s bridge crew is still a bunch of bland cyphers.

    But even one episode in, SNW makes a robust case for strongest cast in NuTrek. And in a series that purports to be more episodic, the characters have that much more of an opportunity to shine. Serial arcs have crippled that potential for the other live action shows, while Lower Decks has thrived on its half-and-half approach.

    All in all, a very strong, very Trekkian debut. Looking forward to the second episode more than any previous NuTrek!


    2.5 stars.

    As RuPaul says, “Don’t f*** it up,” and they didn’t. They took a likable zaddy lead, surrounded him with a good team of characters that register, smeared on some TOS sparkle, and let the basic premise of Star Trek fly.

    It wasn’t super compelling but it also wasn’t horrible, and after ten weeks of Picard, I’ll take not horrible. It was your standard, just-better-than-average, non-offensive, likely a-okay testing television pilot.

    Pilot Research notes:

    “Pike was the most liked character among the cast, but no cast member rated below average. Pike’s strength and sense of humor were his highest-rated qualities. Some viewers were uncomfortable during the romantic scenes with Spock, and felt the flashes of Pike’s accident should be toned down in the future. Viewers familiar with Star Trek appreciated the references to past shows, while those unfamiliar with Star Trek did not feel distracted or out-of-the-loop. among the supporting cast, La’an’s character arc received the most positive feedback; viewers would like to see more of her and learn more about her past struggles and family. 56% of viewers said they would definitely watch weekly, while 22% said they would want to watch another episode first. 12% were not sure and 10% would not watch again.”

    Timeline-wise, at the end of the episode, they said it was 2259 (Pike said "stardate," but still . . . and yes, he said this date which is different from the stardate on the screen at the start of the episode). The ending of Discovery's Such Sweet Sorrow Pt II was said to take place in 2258, so even if it isn't 2259, the earliest this episode could be happening is 2258. Kirk's mission is widely believed to have started sometime in 2265 and finished in 2270. The Menagerie is believed to be a Year Two episode (Where No Man Has Gone Before is believed to be the only Year One episode). And Pike is in the chair shortly before The Menagerie. So that is most likely 2266. So that's . . . anywhere from seven to nine years, depending on how we count and if they fudge things a little. So not quite a decade, actually. Pike was rounding up.

    About enough time to squeeze in the standard lifespan of a Star Trek series, though!

    I think it would have been cool if they had been able to get Robert Pralgo to portray Robert April (there's a well-acted fan film on YouTube called First Frontier where Pralgo plays April, and he, Pralgo, has a long list of credits), and Adrian Holmes had played Commodore Stone, administrator of Starbase 11.

    all this positivity about a new Trek series is making me feel weird!!!!! I love it! It's been a long bloody time!

    Looks good. Bright colors for hopeful times.

    Is not very nice of Akiva to make Pike relive his death again and again on such a happy show. His heart so cold. But why is not Pike more happy with all the smart pretty women on his ship? Even Camina. Bet she smells nice.

    Did not see anything to eat on shiny new ship yet but want to try. They need to hunt and kill aliens or can they scavenge from replicator? Hungry now.

    If you, like me, are a ST fan who doesn’t go in for pontificating geekery and prefers it short and to the point, I’ll say this.

    This stomps its boots on the floor and screams “I AM STAR TREK” right in your face. If someone who can’t stand 60s TV or William Shatner asks you what Star Trek is “all about,” show this to them.

    I dig it. Four stars from me.

    Note to Spock: next time the communicator rings, answer it, say yessir, go back to bed, have the Hot Vulcan Sex (tm), and THEN go catch the shuttle.

    A thousand times better than STD and whatever the hell I just watched on Picard.

    But S2 Picard started out great too, then went straight into the shitter the next 7 episodes so I won’t hold my breath.

    I am completely pleased after the pilot. We’ll see if they can manage to screw it up or do something high quality with it. Discovery, from the pilot *felt* wrong. This feels right.

    I really enjoyed it on the whole. The story itself wasn't anything strange or new, as we've seen countless times where various crews have had to dress up and be undercover.

    Essentially though, what was more promising was the cast and characters, and Mount is still killing it as Pike. T'Pring on Vulcan was a good callback to Amok Time, and the other Vulcan's reacting in a stuffy way to her and Spock's romance made me smile.

    The show has a great retro look to it, whilst looking new. They've done a lot of great work on sets, sounds, and SFX, with the gold transporter effect making my day, Yes, I'm sad.

    I'm not bothered about the change in the Eugenics timeline that has been hinted at both here and Picard S2, though I can understand why some people will be bothered.

    The trailer for the rest of the season looks intriguing as well.

    3 out of 4, Jammer Scale.

    Also, Jammer, if you find yourself struggling with long reviews for all of the new Star Trek series, don't worry about going shorter ones. You have a way with words and you've been my go-to guy over many, many years for Star Trek reviews. I've seen many short reviews for series, like The Mandalorian, TNG, the first couple of series of DS9, Lower Decks and Prodigy. You still get your point across, and there was even the occasional time when you wrote more if you felt like it.

    Spock got back to Earth and onto the Enterprise so fast after Pike's call that I wouldn't have been surprised if the entire Vulcan restaurant scene had taken place at the Vulcan Compound in Sausalito, California. Either that or his shuttle came with a tardigrade pilot.

    Stream of consciousness:

    Would have loved for a pan-in through the space roof of the bridge the first time we see it, à La The Cage.

    Didn’t Chapel say she was doing Spock’s genome alterations first? She then does Pike’s first.

    Absolutely love the transporter sound effect from The Cage. Every time we hear it, we’ll have an instant reminder of precisely what era this is from.

    I wish the Enterprise interiors weren’t so white everywhere, but I do appreciate how everything is brighter. I wonder if we’ll ever see cozy TNG hallways again.

    The varying color tones of the plates on the hull of the Enterprise is very jarring to me.

    Love the Uhura/Chapel/Kilenite sequence.

    Regardless of all the necessary suspended disbelief on other humanoid planets, was a bit much having red lights mean stop and green lights mean go.

    The “Take me to your leader” line after Pike watching “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is awesome.

    I concur with many that the premiere should have showcased a stranger new world, and that the Gorn should not have been chosen as the species that captured La’an.

    Thought the opening sequence score was a little underwhelming at first, but it sure has been stuck in my head.

    Sometimes I’m distracted by the superfluous particles floating around in space during the opening sequence, and sometimes I’m not aware of them (probably have seen sequence around a dozen times).

    My middle school students enjoyed the premiere and want to continue watching on their own. Hopefully they won’t take shirtless backs further. Two shirtless backs in the premiere was slightly jarring for them cause sex scenes or potential sex scenes are awkward for them (and me, in Star Trek).

    Anyway, what I initially gave **1/2, I’ve raised to *** after a few viewings. It’s extremely promising and although I wanted a 25th century starship show (like the Stargazer, and I am gutted that Rios stayed behind) most of all, I am still overjoyed that SNW exists. Looking forward to reading Jammer’s reviews and all your commentary here after each episode 🖖

    Why do people act like January 6 was more than the police letting a bunch of fat guys inside to do a bit of tourism? They were walking inside the velvet ropes live streaming it.

    Shakur, because the sitting President instigated it after losing an election that he sought to overturn. Because the Oathkeepers and several other white supremacist groups were there and coordinated at least some aspects of the incursion. Because the "break-in" occurred simultaneous with the constitutionally-mandated counting of the Electoral College votes. Because several of these "fat guys" had weapons and an intent to hunt down Pelosi and Pence if they could find them.

    Where have you been?

    Easily the best thing to call itself Star Trek since 2005, but that isn't saying very much.

    I'll be generous and round this up to 3 stars.

    Imagine coming on a *Star Trek* forum and posting bad faith right wing talking points.
    That's an L homeboys.

    > Is the security chief the same actress who played Drummer from The Expanse?

    No but seems like they copied parts of the character and casted accordingly

    @Mike Lindell

    I don't think it's good for anyone here to assume that people are posting in bad faith, without proper evidence. This fandom consists of people from all different walks of life, and that includes a great diversity in political philosophy as well. I believe people generally write from an honest viewpoint, and I don't think it helps a discussion to dismiss the things written as disingenuous.

    A bit of context:

    Trek fan since the early 80’s
    Re: Jammer’s site: long time listener, first time caller
    Worshiper of TOS (take it as quality or flaw)
    Yeah, to this day, there are some original episodes I still can’t watch, but Roddenberry’s vision, the Shatner/Nimoy/Kelly combo, and the sheer awesomeness/optimism/groundbreaking (at the time) nature of the show me a diehard Trek fan for life.

    Enjoyed TNG when it first came out (first three seasons were rocky at times, but some eps were fine gems). Really came into its own late on, with major contributions to the canon. Same goes for DS9, Voyager, Enterprise. Etc. Every show had a whole bunch of clunkers, but also some standout episodes that shine and showcase the best of Trek.

    Somewhat difficult relationship with the new stuff – Disco and Picard 1-2. I want to like it, but a lot of its feels... off And the "story arc" approach is nothing like the thigh plotting I saw in B5 or even BSG. Ironically, while I initially welcomed the episodic approach, it may be that Trek is best suited for the episodic format.

    Yes, there may be less “payoff” after a long and intricately plotted season, but a badly plotted season will really sink a show. Conversely, the episodic route means you will -- if only through the law of averages -- occasionally write/produce an episode that will be a standout for the series, if not for all of Trek canon. Something even detractors of an overall series will admit was really good.

    Can’t help but see things through that lens, folks.

    Specific comments about Strange New Worlds:

    I like it overall. I give it three Ion Storms out of four.

    Pike’s reluctance to return to command was, to me, a nice echo of the Cage. In the original pilot, he struggles with the loss of life under his command. Here, he questions whether or not he can still be an effective captain, knowing what he knows, with lives under his responsibility. Eerily similar to Jeffrey hunter’s dilemma. This is a captain with depth.

    Pike’s large/lavish quarters: a nice callback to the large cabin he had in the Cage, much larger than Kirk’s quarters in TOS. And not to stress comparisons to old Trek too much, but Spock’s visit to Pike’s quarters had thematic parallels to Boyce’s visit in The Cage. The friend who visits, and provides counsel. In a way, this scene foreshadows Spock’s loyalty and willingness to do anything for his former Captain, including risking a court martial and the death penalty in “The Menagerie” by bringing Pike back to Thalos IV.

    A little put off by the Spock/T’Pring scenes. Remember how Spock could barely bring himself to speak to Kirk about Vulcan “biology”? And here he is, answering Pike on visual, chillaxing with his shirt off, in the middle of ponn farring? Wee bit of a whiplash.

    La'an Noonien-Singh. Noonien-Singh. Gonna need a bit more here. I'm trying to process how Starfleet is chill with having a direct descendant of Khan/potential genetic super-human in their ranks (did the name not give it away?). Remember how Dr. Julian Bashir was desperate to hide the fact that he was genetically enhanced?

    Yeah, Chapel seemed quite wild and extroverted in comparison to Majel Barret’s portrayal. But as someone pointed out, could be she became more reserved after Roger Korby was reported missing. That said, even Majel wasn’t all that keen on the character herself, so maybe "wild nurse Chapel" is an improvement. Maybe she’ll end up voicing the computer on Pike’s Enterprise too?

    Speaking of voices. I don’t mind Mr. Kyle being recast as Asian, but for God’s sake, why not keep his British accent?

    The “Kirk speech” at the end was great. Typical, traditional Trek, in its proper form. Doesn’t hurt that Mount has the gravitas and acting chops to sell it/pull it off.


    Some of those "fat guys" (as you called them) had legitimate and documented plans to execute members of Congress. That can't be over looked and blown off like no big deal because they didn't kill anyone.

    I can't deny that it was weaponized horribly by media and Democrats into much more than it was or would have been; but there was some bad shit in there and pointing it out and holding it accountable is what we should want even if we don't like the people they wanted to murder.

    @ensign deathbound

    I think your comments on questioning why La'an is being accepted in starfleet seems to be misguided. The Drumhead saw someone potentially arrested because of who his grandparent was and the point was not to condemn a good solid person for that. And certainly in the real world would we not take an officer or employ someone who had a murderous dictator as their great great great great great grandfather?

    I think having her in there creates other problems with continuity and cheap fan service and her character could have been the same but with a different name. But as far as what would happen if this were real; I think if she passed all the standard security checks, background checks, training, and served with distinction nobody would question her over her ancestor (unless we have something like the Drumhead come along again).

    Ok, let's actually discuss this. How do you define insurrection?

    Most of the insurrectionists have been smart enough to plead guilty, and the fact that prosecutors are batting a thousand on convicting - on all charges - the handful of people stupid enough to go to trial seems to reinforce their wise decision.

    So...I think we have met the definition of insurrection as far as juries are concerned.

    Three Oath Keepers have plead guilty to outright sedition, so even that charge seems to not be an overstatement. They'll probably get years in prison instead of the decades that the people they testify against could potentially get. It's interesting that the severity of January 6 is still even being debated.


    I take your point. To be honest, in "real" life, had she passed the tests, she would have been welcomed with open arms. Heck, her superior abilities (I'm assuming she takes after Ricardo) may even have been deemed a plus. And in a larger sense, her joining Starfleet would be in keeping with the Federation/IDIC ideals.

    That said, Starfleet seems skittish at times. They didn't let Seven join Starfleet according to Picard S2 (bit odd since she was an integral part of Voyager's crew for 3-4 years, and saved the ship's bacon on more than one occasion; also, contrast this with Picard having been assimilated into the collective, and yet still allowed to return as Captain of Enterprise D).

    All that aside, it does seem like humans especially frown on products of genetic engineering. Not sure why. Is it because, as Spock says, there is cause for concern -- i.e. superior ability breeds superior ambition? Or do humans in the 23rd century still closely associate Eugenics with WWIII , leading them to simply not wanting to have anything to do with it our of fear of a repeat scenario?

    There's some kind of taboo here, and it seems weird that we've yet to get an explanation.

    As someone else has already pointed out, history's most well known insurrections all did not need a lot of people, usually even a bit less than that trump mob brought to the table.

    But even if we ignore that : how anyone can have a problem with a show condemning a crowd that shouted "hang Mike Pence" is completely beyond me. Like, believe you me that as a left wing person I dislike Mike Pence about as much as possible, but this kind of stuff is just a fundamental break with the barest minimum requirements of civil discourse and democratic culture.

    So, youhave every right to call that just a bunch of harmless fat people if you want. But it should be pretty clear how you then don't also get to argue with my right to view it as quite a bit more than that.

    The rest is just semantics.

    Left/right wing/American politics. Yawn. Could we keep just 1 board free of that shit?

    Does anyone actually watch Star Trek for that boring rubbish? I can get that on Twitter or msm (biased one way or the other)

    *checking in to see if people are still talking about Jan 6*

    I'll check back in after a day or two.

    @ Ensign Deathbound

    I think the think about Spock being deeply embarrassed to discuss Vulcan biology with Kirk was about the ponn farr, specifically, and the reason it is so embarrassing is about the lack of control it represents, not about the mating. Spock is not in control of himself and his emotions because of the ponn farr, which is deeply embarrassing to a Vulcan. He hates his friends seeing him that way. It's a major faux pas to a Vulcan to have mismanaged his ponn farr cycle.

    Being embarrassed over the mating itself seems illogical. All beings must do it.

    Just my thoughts.

    There have been times when Nu-Trek has deliberately invoked American politics, pouring fuel on the polarized left-right divide there, dragging international Trek fans along with the single-minded discourse, and so on...

    But I don't think SNW has done enough yet to warrant this much talk about it. I thought the idea was mainly to show imagery of war, civil unrest, riots and I don't think the Trump insurrection thing was too out of the place in that sequence. All they're saying is that war is bad, mkay? Not pointing the finger at any one side.

    Probably, but explicitly using an image with an "audit the vote" sign was a bit too on the nose.

    I really had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. After Picard Season 2 I didn't expect this to knock it out of the park like it did.

    Hope the show can keep that momentum going.

    This was fun for a very welcome change (remember when Trek was fun?) and Trek works far better episodically because if you deliver a turkey, next week it's off to another planet, oh well.

    But why in the world start with anything politically charged? Wtf?

    Like wtf? Who hires these people??

    Oh let me guess, it's people like ME that want to nuke the world, it's people like YOU telling how awful that would be.

    Dear Paramount or CBS or whoever owns the rights how about stop being fuckng morons?

    When did this get so hard?

    Tip: (duh) don't show DC oh dear god never mind it's hopeless.

    Another hint because I seriously think these people are, are best, clustered in a tiny

    Oh crap I don't care, look above ^^^^^^^^^

    Jesus Christ you are unable to produce a modern Trek

    A matter of time. I chose a slightly older historical recerence as comparrison. It is 40 years since Falkland conflict (war for those who like it), British forces, mainly Royal Navy made the impossible. 2 April 92 Argentine invaded, 4 April 92 HMS Conqueror (Submarine) left Faslane and HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible left one day later. A magnificent accomplishment.

    The future will be different.

    After breakfast he goes riding and let’s say about 10 PM the admiral turns up in a shuttle and orders him to leave at 8PM. He gets back to the house and puts his horse I the sable and calls Spock on Vulcan. Then he shaves in best case beams to a space shuttle station instead of beaming up to enterprise directly. I assume that Captain Pike (like in the RN) did neither need a permission to either groom nor to shave his beard. He turs up on Enterprise after Spok, well he already shaved on Discovery but was on Vulcan just some hours earlier.

    He has a quick chat with the bridge crew and then informs the rest of the crew an quite depressed goes to his cosy ready room. Spok pops in and cheers him up. Let’s say Spok really took his time and we only saw a short version of this. After one hour they have arrived at a planet that have had no contact with any warp civilisation before.

    Did I or the script writers get this wrong? This first episode was good. I don’t get to disturbed by technological inconsistencies but why not at least try to capture a realistic sense of the time flow.

    To me it is not necessary to make this weakness in the scripts. It is irritating, disturbing, lazy, perhaps even arrogant and …. unsatisfying.

    What do the 2020 black riots and January 6th have in common?

    How is T'Pring on a first-name basis with Pike?

    Even setting aside well-established Vulcan formality, it makes no sense. If I've consistently called my boss "Mr. Jones" for all the years I've worked for him, my wife wouldn't cheerily show her face on my business Zoom call with him and say, "Hey, Bill, how's it hangin'?" (slight exaggeration here).

    Unless, of course, she had already established her own friendship with him, completely independent of mine.

    "Even setting aside well-established Vulcan formality, it makes no sense. If I've consistently called my boss "Mr. Jones" for all the years I've worked for him"

    That's interesting. For my entire career (starting in the mid 2000s) I have called my bosses by their first names at every firm I have worked for, even those who were in their 70s. And law isn't exactly known for being a progressive field either.

    Not that I wouldn't have called them "Mr." mind you - but it would be weird and socially awkward to do so and I would have come across as a brown noser or some kind of weirdo using such formal language.

    Keep in mind, also, that Kirk and Spock were closer to being peers in age and near-equals in rank. Pike is Spock's superior officer by a much wider margin.

    I prefer to think of the episode more in term of the movie Pike was watching at the beginning (the excellent "The Day The Earth Stood Still" - I don't mind the Keanu version either tbh, anyway...).

    That was about an alien giving us the message that if we keep on behaving how we'll wipe each other out. In fact the synopisis literally says "Humans must change their violent ways and work for peace if we're to survive.".

    If you want to try and turn that into a left/right wing thing or whatever dumb political party you support vs another dumb political party then fine I guess but that's not really the point. North American has literally nothing to do with that point and think it was a poor choice for them to indicate it has anything to do with a potential WW3 (especially given the current situation). But I guess it's an American show made by Americans.

    That said it's hardly a revoltionary idea to treat each other better but combining that with Pike having to face his impending horrific future and how that would change your perspective really worked nicely together.

    Jason, me too. But I'm analogizing to the 1960s (TOS), when business was exactly that formal, and to today's military, which still is.

    Ok! I’ve read every comment here…wow. Such heated debate for a show/pilot the vast majority of commentators have enjoyed!

    For me, I liked it. My only two criticisms (which have been expressed by a few here) are that we didn’t see/learn hardly anything about the alien race, and Pike’s premonitions/nightmares could become distracting or spoil some fun for the viewers.

    Other than that I viscerally enjoyed this pilot more than any other NuTrek; of which this most reminded me of Below Decks (that’s good IMO).

    I hope the creative team (and the 20 producers I counted in the opening credits) are able/willing to develop along the themes and the feel presented in this episode.

    @S. in Pa. said, "my wife wouldn't cheerily show her face on my business Zoom call with him and say, "Hey, Bill."

    That's true, *if* it was a scheduled Zoom.

    But Chris called Spock when he was on vacation - with his finance - and called him by video.

    And Spock answered topless ("Spock are you naked").

    In that case, yes, I would certainly hope my spouse would make it a point to say "He was about to be naked. It is a special night."

    Even if you allow your boss your disturb your private (very private) life in an emergency, it makes sense for your spouse to put the obvious nakedness into context.

    I have certainly called colleagues early morning or late night with something urgent, only to have them say "hold on, my husband is asleep, let me call you from the other room."

    Working from home and Zoom video calls have completely changed work-life balance.

    Nice to see Star Trek keeping pace.

    While I am a huge fan of Anson Mount's Pike and Rebecca Romijn's Number One - they were in fact the only positive development in all of DSC for me - I was wary of SNW, quite simply because I (like many others) have been repeatedly burnt by DSC and PIC. Frankly, it is to me highly improbable that the writers and producers of DSC and PIC can suddenly surprise us by producing a quality series, given their track record. So I was not expecting much from SNW apart from robust performances from the ever-reliable Mount and Romijn.

    Now, before I eat my words here, let me emphasise that it is always unwise to judge an entire series based on its first episode - indeed, I recall foolishly thinking the DSC pilot, at the time, was not that bad. (PIC, however, was alarming from the get-go.) I've seen comments here that state that SNW has one of the best first episodes in all of Trek - I think that's a little too effusive, and more symptomatic of relief at a NuTrek series that finally captures something of the essence of what Trek is.

    So to me eating my words: I am amazed. While I anticipated that Mount would deliver - Romijn is only briefly present, and delivers as well of course - I was not prepared for a good, solid, distinctly Trekkian first episode that married *some* of the optimism of what makes Trek Trek, some lovely straightforward storytelling and quite a novel (for NuTrek) concept (the warp bomb gleaned from observation) on the one hand with the visual flashiness of NuTrek on the other, without that flashiness being as intrusive as lens flares have hitherto been. There is a definite 'TOS updated' vibe that is respectful of its source material while contributing some new aspects.

    I have seen comments here that focus on the reference to recent events in the US, but the irony is that that reference comes directly before a very moving speech from Pike that is entirely Trekkian in its content and its intent - it is, simply, a speech that Archer could have given. A meaningful, touching and most of all genuine plea for optimism we haven't seen in a long time in Trek.

    I mention Archer here - not Janeway, Sisko, Picard or Kirk - because I think the first episode of SNW actually reminds me most of 'Broken Bow': we are familiar with their universe, of course, but the crew are not - yet. We know their future. What will happen between their now and what we know will come?

    Knowing the future, in the sense of Pike's awareness of his own death, is very well handled and presents an intriguing study of the human condition that already promises a more classically Trek take than the constant gushing breakdowns of DSC or the clunky emotional intermissions of PIC. It really is hard to believe these are the same writers and producers.

    Character-wise we get very effective introductions to this mostly not-new crew, and particular praise is due to Christian Chong as La'an, whose backstory with the Gorn had me intrigued. I also liked Mbenga and Chapel, and felt that Ethan Peck actually did well as Spock here. I did not think much to Ortegas. The dialogue was robust and mostly well-written, with the Marvel-like snark toned down or absent and less reliance on achingly contemporary ways of speaking.

    These are characters and concepts who feel to me like Manny Coto's run on ENT. That was the best season of ENT, which showed respect for TOS while developing ideas from that series in a fuller way. If SNW turns out to be as good as the last season of ENT, I will be satisfied - I have a low bar set, and this is NuTrek, after all, so I am not expecting TNG or DS9 or even the better episodes of VOY.

    All in all, then, credit were credit is due - so far. I don't want to be too fulsome in my praise, because I fear a rapid degeneration into the usual NuTrek incoherence. (That said, the references to DSC, unbelievably enough, actually fitted quite nicely.) SNW definitely benefits from a return to the standalone episode format.

    In other words, SNW barely puts a foot wrong - yet.

    (Due to my location, I have yet to watch Prodigy, but I do like LDS - in particular, I consider 'wej Duj' to be the best episode of Trek since 2005.)

    Jason, back when I clerked, all of us called the judge "Your Honor" in court, "Judge Jones" outside of court, and (seriously) we addressed him informally as just "Judge." Pretty sure that's still the way it's done. My then-fiancée wouldn't have addressed him as "Bill," because she had never heard me do that, and never would.

    What I'm saying is that she knows Chris Pike.

    @S. in Pa.
    "Even setting aside well-established Vulcan formality, it makes no sense. If I've consistently called my boss "Mr. Jones" for all the years I've worked for him, my wife wouldn't cheerily show her face on my business Zoom call with him and say, "Hey, Bill, how's it hangin'?" (slight exaggeration here)."

    A lot of informality has developed in the past few years. The notion of deference to elders has been greatly eroded in many fields. It is not always a good thing.

    It expresses a certain level of deference and respect to use honorifics. In the law, this has fallen away over time to such an extent that lowly clerks fresh out of law school may feel comfortable to address the judges who they serve, on a first name basis, at least 'in chambers.' I'm not convinced that the same clerk would do this in open court, nor would that clerk feel safe or entitled addressing the President judge, or any of the other judges in the system as anything other than "Judge" or "your honor."

    How comparatively decent this was compared to Picard only reinforces what a wrecking ball Patrick Stewart has become...

    "Jason, back when I clerked, all of us called the judge "Your Honor" in court, "Judge Jones" outside of court, and (seriously) we addressed him informally as just "Judge." Pretty sure that's still the way it's done. My then-fiancée wouldn't have addressed him as "Bill," because she had never heard me do that, and never would."

    Oh some things haven't changed - I would never address a judge as anything but "your honour", in chambers, in open court, or even on the street.

    I was responding to the poster who called his boss "Mr. Jones" as opposed to his first name.

    In my experience, calling your boss Mr. So-so versus their first name would make you look like a complete weirdo.

    But a judge isn't your boss - he's a judge. Big difference.

    Uggh just realized that in your particular circumstance as a clerk a judge would be both a judge *and* your boss. But point being judges are in a whole different category from say a senior partner at a law firm or the CEO of the company.

    Liked this. Half way through thinking, great, no tears and I can hear Pike and Spock actually talking to each other. Enjoyed the stronger characters and the fact we don’t need to see all their vulnerabilities. I thought the stand in No 1 was a stand out.

    Let me cut through this - no clerk is calling a judge by their first name unless the judge specifically sanctions it. And only in private.

    As for a wife, they're not calling a clear superior of their husband by their first name unless the boss is comfortable with BOTH people calling them by their first name. An 0-6 in the military will sometimes permit this for certain of their officers and spouses in private. Almost never in a work setting considering the change of command issues. This is a different dynamic from civilian positions.

    Obviously, this applies whether the subordinate is a man or woman.

    Thank you, Ilsat. You get it. "Hey, Chris" was not the way anyone would expect T'Pring to talk to Pike.

    The episode was decent. I knew little about it going into it and it seems pretty clear they are just going to play it safe by copying the JJ-verse in both look and tone. I am just shocked at Hollywood's unwillingness/inability to take a chance on any new lead characters or material and push the envelope. Since ENT ended they have been milking Kirk/Spock and TNG tie-ins and seem petrified to try something new. Anything for a safe buck. It's supposedly a big Federation that spans centuries of time, lots to explore, but according to Hollywood the only thing of significance are a few ships named Enterprise or relatives of Spock.

    @Ghost of Flotter

    Yes, I agree. The link to the JJ films visually and thematically is very clear - the Kelvin timeline *is* the TOS [sic!] that these writers and producers are thinking of when they 'think back'. The scenes in Montana felt most similar to the recent films than anything else. The odd TOS jingle and a quasi-1960s colour pallette in outer space can't distract from that.

    One of the reasons I'm hesitant to get that excited about SNW is I can see the very calculated rules the creative team are placing on themselves: they're trying to provide sops to get what they see as those whingey, demanding old fans on board, while at the same time not undermining the JJ/NuTrek norms they really care about. They're also tying DSC in to SNW as much as they can, doubling down really. It's a balancing act and it will be interesting to see how long it takes before the centre cannot hold.

    In the first episode, for example, the moment in the turbolift where Spock said he missed his sister and Pike replied, improbably, 'I miss her too' had me rolling my eyes severely.

    I didn't think the mention of the Discovery arc leading to the warp bomb was that intrusive, but scenes like the turbolift worship of Michael Burnham (of course) are. Hopefully they'll be few and far between.

    I liked the even handed approach of "competing ideas of liberty". Calling for understanding rather than saying one side is right was NEW compared to Nu Trek. The philosophical explanation of the irrational belief in one's own invincibility being a root cause of continued conflict. This was "A Taste of Armageddon" explained in a new light. I don't mind if the story is essentially the same, if the philosophical point is new.

    = = = =

    So Captain Pike can "OK, Google" his communicator? That would have saved Kirk a few times if he had that capability. They must have disabled the feature later on. Privacy concerns..

    Maybe that's why T'Pting and Spock never marry 🤣

    Just kidding. Seriously. Who. Cares. As long as the episode was good?

    I really enjoyed it. As a long time fan of over 40 years I was feeling a bit burnt out with Star Trek. I still haven't made it through season 3 of Discovery and gave up with Picard season 2 after episode 4. However this episode hit all the right notes for me, I already like the characters and I actually want to see more. Excited to see were it goes

    Forgot to mention: really looking forward to seeing how they shoehorn the Borg and Ferengi into SNW.

    Heh, is that why Alison Pill said she would not appear in PIC season 3? So that she could manufacture a Big Reveal when she appears in SNW as Borgati.
    "Surprise bitches!"


    Oh God. We need to stop. We're giving Kurtzman & co. even worse ideas than they would actually come up with by themselves.

    It will be like Casper.

    They'll see them and scream a b-b-b-b-borg! and run away screaming and Agnes the friendly Borg will say she just wants to make friends.

    It was pretty bad. Shallow, ideologically overbearing. Greasy even. Like std with less grimdark. Call it std lite.

    Give me a Star Trek with Expanse level writing and attention to characters and plot, but with an optimistic message / world.

    This is a nitpicky complaint in an episode I really enjoyed, but is it really necessary for the writers/SFX folks to insert solar panels and wind turbines into EVERY scene on Earth?

    I know what they’re going for but the Trekkie in me recalls the TNG episode (“The Survivors”) where we learned that fusion reactors are literally a household commodity. Why the heck would a society capable of that pepper the landscape with huge wind turbines and solar panels that wouldn’t generate a fraction of the power of a fusion reactor?

    @tim. Not to get all maga. But every scene was a virtue-signaling showcase. Multicultural, multigenderal, stuffed to the gills with happy right-think.

    But I'm actually ok with that as long at it isn't too overbearing. What really bothers me is the absence of actual science fiction.

    Wow. I came here to read about the new TV show.

    All I see are comments from Americans bashing each other's politics and being seriously nasty to each other. Kinda the opposite of the ideals we all should live towards as Star Trek fans.

    And that's the point isn't it? We are all fans of Star Trek in some form or another, right?

    Yep - some of us like different shows to others - but why get nasty and personal about it if someone disagrees with you? We. Are. All. Fans. Of. Star. Trek.

    Because. Kamin. Most. Of. Nu-Trek. Is. Not . Trek.

    Also, if you think this is seriously nasty, you need to grow thicker skin.

    Ouch. That's it for the series that will surely save us from "NuTrek" or however they spell it?...Then again, this is the same guy who gave Balance of Terror 2.5/4, so he must have really dug this ep in comparison 🤪
    To each their own! Loved reading the review.

    3 stars after that review? And more importantly that means the openers for DSC s1 and s2 are just as good.


    I wasn't impressed. This is mostly style with little substance. As Jammer alluded to, things happen because they look like they'd fit into TOS, and because they think Trek fans would dig what they see.

    The "strange new worlds" we hear in the TOS and TNG intros doesn't just mean a ship gallivanting around the galaxy, it applies to the show as well. Exploring new territory - scientifically, philosophically, morally, theatrically. Does this show do that? That remains to be seen, but despite the odd conversation about death this pilot doesn't show a whole lot of promise. The only thing I can give credit for is the cast diversity.


    The opening sequence is also pretty darn forgettable, visually and musically. I get that they've tried to make it exciting, but I'd take realistic over exciting. TNG felt exciting, so did TOS, at least for the 60s and 80s. Space isn't packed with nebulae and planets, it's vast and sparse.

    [[I know what they’re going for but the Trekkie in me recalls the TNG episode (“The Survivors”) where we learned that fusion reactors are literally a household commodity. Why the heck would a society capable of that pepper the landscape with huge wind turbines and solar panels that wouldn’t generate a fraction of the power of a fusion reactor? ]]

    That's in a 140 years so there's some wiggle room, though.

    Also, I love political Trek but can we get rid of all the Insurrection discussion that has nothing to do with the show? Its cluttering up things.

    My opinion of STRANGE NEW WORLDS is it's a stellar cast and I really think it will stand the test of time. Mind you, I liked DISCO and aboslutely love Picard.

    "Oh let me guess, it's people like ME that want to nuke the world, it's people like YOU telling how awful that would be."

    Pretty much.

    Though it's more like:

    "Those who a adhere to a million different views (except our own) want to nuke the world. But this slogan sounds stupid, so we'll lump all these diverse groups into one and hope people won't notice"

    Kinda funny when this cult tries to ally themselves with "liberal values" when - in fact -their mindset is no different than that of a fanatic religious zealot. I don't really care which side of the political map this movement has risen from. Liberal - it is not.

    "But even if we ignore that : how anyone can have a problem with a show condemning a crowd that shouted 'hang Mike Pence' is completely beyond me. "

    The show did nothing of the sort.

    I've bothered myself to search youtube for the clip in question, and watched it myself.

    What the show did, was present our present day turmoil in a simplistic one-sided way. No hint of the way that BLM burned the entire nation for months. No hint of the way people were persecuted and ostracized for "wrong think". Just the usual depiction of extremists (and from one side only) as the norm.

    In short, this was nothing but a political propaganda film.

    And worse: This was shown to members of an alien civilization who are said to be in the midst of a similar conflict. Pike here is just adding fuel to a very hot fire, by basically telling these people that their preconceptions against "the other side" are correct.

    If these poor aliens end up destroying themselves, it would be Pike's fault.

    "I liked the even handed approach of 'competing ideas of liberty'. Calling for understanding rather than saying one side is right was NEW compared to Nu Trek."

    I agree that taken on it's own, the phrase "competing ideas of liberty" is a breath of fresh air.

    Unfortunately, it's kinda difficult to appreciate this, when it comes immediately after a full-blown propaganda video. Sounds more like lip service then anything else.

    @C.T. Phipps
    "Also, I love political Trek but can we get rid of all the Insurrection discussion that has nothing to do with the show? Its cluttering up things."

    If this were the thread of any other episode, I would have agreed with you.

    But here we have an episode whose *entire point* is to discuss our present day situation. Just this once, a political discussion here would be entirely on topic.

    (and it is the episode who brought up the "insurrection" thing in the first place. Don't blame the people here for what the show itself has brought up)

    By the way:

    For some time now, I've felt that the real world situation merits a "planet-of-the-week" treatment from Star Trek. A story that exposes both the dangers and the lunacy of where current society is going: the degradation of our regard for civil rights, scientific truth and other staples of an enlightened society that we've taken for granted just a decade or two ago.

    Such a story could have been a very strong, classic Trek episode.

    But this isn't it.

    @Grey cat
    "OMG can we at least be a little positive with a new series?"

    Well, here are a couple of positives:

    This episode captured the feeling of classic Trek far better than anything else in the past 5 years.

    I loved the general idea of the story, as well as the connection the writers made between Pike's destiny and the situation on the planet. That bit was a genuinely powerful moment (unlike so many similar attempts at drama in ST:Picard and ST:Discovery which always ended in cringe).

    I haven't seen the entire episode (yet?) but it's the first Nu Trek episode I'm tempted to watch in its entirety. Would have been far better, of-course, without the shoehorned politics, but we can't have everything we want in life.

    "I agree that taken on it's own, the phrase "competing ideas of liberty" is a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, it's kinda difficult to appreciate this, when it comes immediately after a full-blown propaganda video. Sounds more like lip service then anything else."

    Thanks for the response! Thanks for partially agreeing.

    I suggest maybe it is possible not to view it as a propaganda video. Showing a particular moment in history becomes propaganda only with one-sided narration. With even handed narration, the narrator is not necessarily siding against what is on-screen. Pike is not saying these people's grouses are not right. He is only saying that BOTH SIDES failed to appreciate that it was the last chance to make peace, to come to the table and talk.

    With recent Trek's proclivities of clearly choosing a side in current affairs, some of us may be extrapolating that same bias on this episode. I suggest, though, that it is possible to view that monologue, the accompanying AV together with those 4 seconds of capitol footage in a much more even-handed manner.

    = = = =

    More evidence of even-handedness:
    1. It is not clear which side of the planet-of-the-week maps to which of our political sides
    2. Pike admonishes both sides equally, plays no favorites

    A black rights movement and the followers of the loser of a presidential election going on a rampage is not the same. One has scientifically measurable reasons, the other does not. You can see those reasons as racist or classist or whatever, fact is, discrimination of dark skinned Americans does exist and is still widespread.

    Simple example, variations of this type of study are done everywhere, you construct a CV and sent it to employers. There is only one difference for the CV's you sent, one has a typically white name and one has a typically black name and then you look at number of invites for a job interview. Again, it is an identical CV apart from that one variable sent to the same employers in fairly short order . The CV's with the white names will have an almost 2 to 1 chance of being chosen for a job interview.

    One could name other studies about other areas. Point being, there is still substantial discrimination and disadvantages for black people in the US and if a minority of substantial numbers is discriminated then that will sooner or later lead to violence.

    The Insurrection or whatever you want to call it had no scientific basis and was just an anti democratic impulse created by Trump and his servants.

    You can have a problem with how the current black right movement conducts itself but the black minority in the US certainly has valid reasons to be angry.

    So portraying them blm and the Trump insurrection as equal would be the very epitome of false equivalency.

    " our regard for civil rights, scientific truth and other staples of an enlightened society that we've taken for granted just a decade or two ago."
    Well, the Patriot act, Abu Ghuraib, Guantanamo and two long wars among many other things beg to differ.

    " No hint of the way that BLM burned the entire nation for months"
    Oh, I must have missed that.

    Yah I’ll take it. After the years of disappointment with DSC and PIC, anything would have felt like a win if even half competent. But holy hell can we get at least one stable bridge shot and a character in frame for more than 1/2 a second. The constant panning is making me dizzy.

    Jammer mentions the unrealized promise of the serialized formats of the other shows. Unrealized is right. Star Trek could have worked just fine as a serialized program. But they consistently made the stupid choice both with their stories and with their characters. Constantly chasing some ham-fisted, galaxy destroying (eye roll) threat forced characters to have to make dumb choices to service the plots. Or set up payoffs that could never, well, pay off. Coughcoughtheburn. These showrunners confuse serialization with mystery boxes. Serialization does not require some big mystery always lurking out of reach of both the characters and the viewers. It just has to lead the characters through growth, change and ahem, discovery, of both themselves and their world. This is exactly what DSC and PIC didnt allow their characters to do… or when they did, it was low hanging fruit. “Homelessness is bad! Deportations are bad!” I’m as progressive and liberal as they come, but even I eye rolled at how badly these topics where handled.

    Any way, I hope this show can find a balance that has always been possible but not realized by the current clowns running the franchise.

    "I suggest maybe it is possible not to view it as a propaganda video. Showing a particular moment in history becomes propaganda only with one-sided narration."

    My point is that the very choice of this "particular moment in history" is tantamount to a one-sided narration.

    Showing the events of January 2021 and explicitly saying "what began as an eruption in one nation ended in [describing global nuclear holocaust]" is propaganda - pure and simple.

    "I suggest, though, that it is possible to view that monologue, the accompanying AV together with those 4 seconds of capitol footage in a much more even-handed manner."

    It wasn't just those 4 seconds.

    It's 4 seconds of capitol footage, followed by a few more seconds of people in maga hats (oh the horror! not the maga hats! anything but that!) followed by a few more seconds of policemen with clubs, followed by nuclear bombs all over the world.

    And as I've already mentioned: What's not shown in that sequence is just as problematic as what *is* shown.

    Does that depiction sounds balanced to you?

    "It is not clear which side of the planet-of-the-week maps to which of our political sides"

    I agree this is a positive point. However, just because the depiction could have been even worse, does not let the writers off the hook.

    "Pike admonishes both sides equally, plays no favorites"

    He doesn't need to admonish any side verbally. The images do it for him.

    Granted, his speech of "put away your differences and talk" is nice, but doesn't really jive well with the message of the chosen images.

    Luckily, unless the aliens' conflict closely mirrors our own, they would have no way to know this.

    " 'No hint of the way that BLM burned the entire nation for months'
    Oh, I must have missed that."

    Yes, you must have.

    Guess you were so busy reading "studies" and "reports" that you didn't have time to peek out a window.

    As for discrimination and violence and prejudice and racism:

    Yes, these were always rampant. But there was a slow steady progress over the last few decades of the 20th century.

    I'd like to see this progress continue in the future. And I fail to see how supporting a violent racist organization, which has no regards for fundamental human rights, is conductive to this goal.

    (by the way, I have no interest in entering yet another BLM good/BLM bad debate with you. We've been through this at least a dozen times, and there's no point in going through the same discussion the 13th time. Besides, 13 is bad luck)

    "Yes, you must have."
    As far as I know it was a few cities where serious riots occurred and quite comparable to previous times when race riots happened. Calling it "burning the entire nation for month" is at best hyperbolic. During the Los Angeles riots in 1992 three times the number of people died.

    "But there was a slow steady progress over the last few decades of the 20th century."
    Getting from a racist, partly segregated society to a fairly discriminatory society is progress, yes. Still for the people actually having to suffer through that discrimination any kind of slow progress might be too slow.

    Still, my point was that Trump actively undermined US democracy because he had lost an election and now around a third of the US population and the vast majority of republicans believes that the current president is illegitimate. The show probably sees this as a sign that democracies have become unstable. Equating that with race riots that are fairly normal thing in US history is just not a good comparison. These riots never threatened democracy in it's entirety.

    Booming, the BLM and Antifa driven riots, looting, burning and general destruction of 2020 are not a "fairly normal thing" in U.S. history. $1.5B in property destruction, 14,000 arrests, 2,000 police injured, 19 dead. During this time, you also had CHAZ and CHOP zones in which the police and city governments capitulated to what amounted to terrorist takeovers of whole city blocks.

    The 2020 riots have a good deal in common with January 6th. People don't see it because they don't want to. Both groups - black and white men mostly - took action because of a deep sense of disenfranchisement. That the system in their eyes is broken. That a "just" outcome is not possible. That they have no say in events, so that violence or force is the only "speech" they have left. And both groups were spurred on, partly mobilized, and to some extent gaslit by extremist political types. Oathkeeper types and Antifa / anarcho-Marxists. People who believe, very deeply, that ripping down the America we have today is necessary to construct whatever crazy shit their preaching.

    This in a nutshell is what's happening here.

    US history is a long timeframe.

    1992 riots: 63 dead, 12000 arrests, more than a billion in damages (which would be around 2.5 billion today)

    1968 King Assassination riots: 43 dead and more than 20.000 arrests

    1967 Long hot summer riots: 85+ dead and 11.000 arrests

    1965 Watts riots: 34 dead and 3500 arrests

    and these are only the some of the major ones and only to the mid 1960s. There are race riots almost every year in the US and a major one around every 30 years. So yes, these kind of riots are a fairly normal thing.

    And these riots are not because of blm or anarchists and comparing the reasons for these riots that are happening for more than a 100 years now with what happened on Jan 6. is like comparing a serious chronic illness with an imagined one.

    ps: with imagined one, I mean the fact that the election was not stolen. Having a debate about what drives the support of Trump in general is another matter entirely and would probably go to far considering that we are talking about one short scene.

    [blasts console broadcasting the BLM/Antifa argument]

    Boring conversation anyway.

    "Luke, we're gonna have company!"

    Roddenberry had a knack for creating great names for guys in charge: CHRISTOPHER PIKE, JAMES T. KIRK, WILLIAM RIKER!

    They feel like names ripped from post-war Boys Adventure tales.

    I haven't seen this episode yet (waiting on Jammer to review about six more episodes), but every picture I've seen of Anson Mount as Pike oozes old school cool. He has a dapper, 1950s quality. Bruce Greenwood, who played Pike in the JJ movies, was also a good piece of casting. They have a slightly retro quality that helps set a "Trek" tone. (IMO Trek works best with one foot in the past; even DS9, which tried to break free of various tropes, constantly harked back to Old West or 1940s/50s war tropes, with the station being like Casablanca, or Algiers during WW2)

    Yeah. We've been through this a million times already here.

    Such debates are pointless. The vast majority of people (both on the left and on the right) understand that the riots of Summer 2020 were very serious business.

    Those who don't understand this, will not gain a sudden epiphany just because some guy on the internet argues with them.

    "The 2020 riots have a good deal in common with January 6th. People don't see it because they don't want to. Both groups - black and white men mostly - took action because of a deep sense of disenfranchisement."

    I can agree with this to a certain extent.

    But one big difference is that the 2020 riots were of a far greater scope (in both duration and geographical scope) and far more destructive. You can't really compare months of terrorizing half the nation with the Jan 6 incident.

    Yes, the latter is also serious business. Yes, the incident itself should not be trivialized. It's just that the stuff that happened in the summer of 2020 was far *far* worse.

    Booming, the 60s rights, Rodney King and now this are major disturbance occurring once a generation. There are large chunks of time in which this does not occur. Decades in between. This is not a "fairly normal thing." Objectively speaking, you're simply wrong here.

    As for my comparison, you are missing the larger point. There are an enormous number of white people in this country that feel disenfranchised. They are the ones that gravitated to Perot 30 years ago. That have been party outliers, Tea Party members, some libertarian supporters, and of course some alt right nationalists that overlap with white supremacists. They believe the divide between the global capitalists, wealth managers and corporate elite (on one side) and blue collar and lower to middle class America (on the other side) is being exacerbated by the political and economic systems we have in place. They see these systems as enabling this growing chasm. They see promises made to protect America and its people which, over time, turn out to be nonsense. And they are angry as hell. January 6th is a symptom of a much deeper problem in our culture. Someone like Trump only exists - is even able to win the GOP primary much less the presidency - because of this deep current of anger and mistrust by a big chunk of the white community. This is not "imagined."

    Black people also have a great deal of anger and mistrust in the system. Decades of promises (many from the Democratic party) not materializing. Not helping them escape an impoverished, second-class status. Not addressing chronic issues of crime, under-education, drug abuse, and so forth wrecking their communities. The police are simply the "business end" of a system - the same damn system many white people have issues with, though for other reasons - that is holding them down.

    At the end of the day, what America needs is a new, progressive-based party that unites disenfranchised black, white, Latino, Asian people under a philosophy of reasserting their power (as a people). This is why Congress, as a whole, has approval ratings in the teens. BOTH parties have batted control back and forth over the last several decades with basically the same results. Dysfunctional, out-of-touch, bullshit governance that coincidentally is occurring simultaneously with a very large rise in the net worth of our elected public servants.

    And the people, black and white on both sides of the political aisle, know it. They're all mad. And the shit that happened the last few years is only the beginning.

    I never said that riots arent serious. I never said that I am pro blm. I am just pointing out reasons why these things happen and historical patterns. Apart from that I only made one actual statement. That those riots are no systemic danger while huge parts of the electorate losing faith in the electoral process is.

    Dumb question: Would it make sense to watch some discovery episodes to understand the references / flashbacks better? I would prefer to avoid it unless it contributes much to the SNW experience

    I'm pretty sure a lot of black people don't have a great deal of faith in the system. And it's that lack of faith, on both sides, that is the problem. As for the riots, for a few months in a quite a few of our cities, it was a "systemic problem." When the people are concerned that the police or DA, in some instances, will simply refuse to do their job, it's a systemic problem.

    But I agree that having more than half of the GOP believe the "big lie" is largest issue we face today. It indicts the integrity of the entire election system and it is built on a bunch of bullshit. My point, and I think you agree, is the anger and disillusionment that is leading once reasonably well-adjusted GOP rank and file members down this road of insanity is also a big factor in the rioting and destruction on the other side. Anger based on different causes but ultimately directed toward those in power.

    What a strange, new world we live in...

    [there, I've connected all of this to the thread theme]

    Weird to watch nutrek without being blinded by lense flare. Enjoyed this premiere tremendously!

    "At the end of the day, what America needs is a new, progressive-based party that unites disenfranchised black, white, Latino, Asian people under a philosophy of reasserting their power (as a people)."

    What America needs is to stop cooperating with extremist groups that want to destroy it from within.

    Dealing with the actual problems of racism and financial inequality is challenging enough without groups who actively seek to create chaos and fear and terror. It is only due to the activity of such groups that America is in such turmoil right now.

    It's like a real-life version of an internet forum that's being destroyed by malicious trolls. That's what groups life BLM and Antifa are: real-life trolls. And they only manage to create their destruction because the general public cooperates with their deadly games.

    The sane people of America (from both the right and the left) need to unite and openly declare: We will not continue to cooperate with this madness.

    Stop cooperating. Stop feeding this monster. And *then* we can begin to talk about solving the actual challenges that America is facing.

    "And the people, black and white on both sides of the political aisle, know it. They're all mad. And the shit that happened the last few years is only the beginning. "

    You're speaking of this as if it is some kind of inevitability.

    It is not.

    This is only happening because of some very sinister groups who are actively goading people into going berserk. And nobody ain't going to solve any serious problem by going berserk.

    I very much hope that the American people will realize this before it gets too late.

    Omicron, I sincerely believe you are naive. This is a growing problem, and it persists on both sides. It is a reconfiguration of the economic and political orders driven by technology, globalism, the blurring of lines of sovereignty, and frankly the rewiring of people's brains. There is no "safe port" to go back to.

    I agree many in the BLM camp are extremists. Certainly, most of Antifa. But so too are the Oathkeepers and similar groups. And, by definition, a Christian conservative following a deeply immoral, lying narcissist is an "extreme" example of self-deception - of sacrificing one's beliefs to the political order of things. Cognitive dissonance on steroids.

    I agree, as I've said, that we need to unite. But what does it mean to "stop feeding the monster"? What exactly is the monster? In my mind it is a political and economic system harming a large fraction of Americans from all walks of life. Some want to tear the system down (Joker style), and we must deal with them differently from those who are simply disillusioned, apathetic, sometimes seeking a balkanized enclave of like-minded people - a racial or ethnic safe harbor if you will. Because that's what's happening. The monster is the fundamental change in how Americans, across the board, think about and process their world. The fear, anxiety, and basic "flattening" of people's selves and belief structures.

    It's not just BLM and Antifa - it's all of us. And because we're in the midst of it, few of us even realize it. And, no, Omicron, it's not going to stop anytime soon.

    "But I agree that having more than half of the GOP believe the 'big lie' is largest issue we face today. It indicts the integrity of the entire election system and it is built on a bunch of bullshit."

    I gotta tell you something:

    I've followed the elections in real time. I've also been following the aftermath very closely.

    And while I can't tell you with certainty whether the election was rigged, I can tell you this: The investigation process of these serious claims was laughable. At every step of the way, the people who were supposed to be the protectors of integrity and justice have acted like they had something to hide.

    Worse: public discussion of the situation was censored. Talk about it was banned from all major platforms. The tech giants went as far as killing the servers of alternative websites who tried to talk about it.

    How is any of this okay?

    At this point, I don't even care whether the elections themselves were rigged or not, because this entire situation is unforgivable. This kind of thing should have *never* happened in any democratic country, least of all in the USA.

    You wanted an indictment of election integrity? There's your indictment.

    And if we want people to regain their trust of the system, then the first step is to vow that such a fiasco will never happen again.

    "But one big difference is that the 2020 riots were of a far greater scope (in both duration and geographical scope) and far more destructive. You can't really compare months of terrorizing half the nation with the Jan 6 incident.

    Yes, the latter is also serious business. Yes, the incident itself should not be trivialized. It's just that the stuff that happened in the summer of 2020 was far *far* worse"

    I don't even.... poo poo fart.

    Omicron - that I can certainly agree with. Two wrongs do not make a right, though. Trump gaslit his people months before the 2020 election. "The only way I can lose is if the election is rigged." That sort of stuff. Well, he lost, and long before he had any idea what had happened, it was suddenly fraud. Everywhere! And his acolytes ate it up. Because they were conditioned to long before the election occurred.

    What do we know to date? Arizona's voting was audited. Not much was found. Georgia had a runoff - the ultimate audit of the first vote - and the results for the two senate races was nearly identical. The whole country was watching very closely and, if anything, the Dems won by a slightly larger margin. Hundreds of litigants were tossed out of court. Putting aside the procedural defects that caused their cases to be dismissed, if they had ANY evidence they could have walked into Fox News and said, "Here it is!" But they didn't. Like the pillow guy, they were full of shit. Rudi and the nutjob woman both argued (as a legal defense) that no reasonable person would ever believe the bullshit coming out of their mouth. AG Barr said there's no evidence of significant or widespread fraud. The cybersecurity czar said there's no evidence. The "evidence" just isn't there.

    Which raises a more frightening possibility. The election, especially with the mass mail-in balloting and ad hoc COVID policies, produced enough cracks and crevices that undetectable fraud and manipulation did occur. Even states like Colorado and Washington, with larger mail-on balloting systems, admitted that it took them several years to implement correctly. To put in place safeguards. It's much easier to fill out some indigent or mentally handicapped person's ballot and just send it in, then it is to somehow get that person to the polls to vote or to impersonate them at the polls.

    So, I ultimately do believe some amount of fraud occurred. Just not nearly enough to overcome an 8 million vote delta. An awful lot of people (me included) just could not stand Trump. His "negatives" were astronomical, especially with his handling of the pandemic.

    You know what is the largest concern, shared by both the GOP and Democrats alike? Hacking the election systems and software. That is the Achilles Heel of our system right now. If you rewrite the code - the rules governing the manner in which machines tabulate and process votes - you could potentially create an INVISIBLE hand of manipulation. This is why systems should be "closed universe" and hand-counting of ballot receipts or some paper evidence of voter intent must occur. At least for a percentage of the precincts chosen at random.

    If I may make an observation I have found that *unequivocally* acknowledging the validity of someone else's grievance is extremely helpful in getting them to acknowledge yours.

    So without saying anything about whether or not these two events are equivalent or one is worse than the other in absolute terms, one could at least say: X was a bad thing, period. Which would in turn invite the other side to say Y was a bad thing, period.

    Or we can keep spitting on one another by claiming your grievance is poo poo but mine is a big deal and see where it gets us.

    I should add that even if you know for a fact that your grievance is clearly worse by far, it would still be in your interest not to go out of your way to rub your opponent's face in it.

    Mike Lindell - but that's not remotely close to the main point. I agree comparing the specific "events" of 01/06 and the collective 2020 disorder makes little sense from an apples-to-apples point of view. But that's a stupid thing to do. The thing to recognize is the structural defects in our present systems producing a growing sense of anger and disillusionment on both sides. Manifesting in different ways and with different trigger points. But growing worse on both sides each day.

    I happen to agree with Omicron that you can't get to first base without a minimal degree of law and order. So, the rioters and criminals need to be prosecuted and jailed for lengthy terms. But, beyond this, you aren't fixing anything until you recognize the root-cause. And most Americans haven't done this yet.

    @ Heiko

    Pike is in all of Discovery season 2. Spock shows up around halfway through, and Number One has only a few scenes sprinkled throughout.

    I am personally of the opinion that Discovery season 2 is pretty good overall, and all of the weak moments of that season (and to be fair, there are many) is baggage from some terrible choices made in season one.

    The minute Pike steps on the bridge of Discovery and asks for roll call of the bridge officers in the season premiere "Brother," it is clear the entire tone of the show has shifted from season one and it is no longer "mean."

    BUT. If you don't want to watch all of Disco season 2, these are the episodes to watch:

    "If Memory Serves" - Burnham takes Spock to Talos IV (the planet from the original TOS pilot episode The Cage). We learn about Spock's past with Burnham and see them as children. The set designers do an amazing job with the callbacks, musical cues, etc. Pike has a telepathic encounter with Vina, who of course is the woman from The Cage he will end up with after the TOS episode The Menagerie. Jammer gave this episode four stars, and I agree with that.

    "Through the Valley of Shadows" - Unfortunately, this is a Disco-continuity heavy episode that deals with a lot of the awful aforementioned "baggage" from terrible creative decisions made during season one of the show. Among the things happening in the episode though is that this is where Pike learns of his future (the terrible accident and being confined to the horrible chair). More importantly, Pike has to take actions that "fix" this as his future so that it's immutable and cannot be altered. He is 100% certain it will happen to him now. And he doesn't learn that Spock will eventually take him to Talos IV in The Menagerie and through telepathy will escape the worst of his fate from the accident. So if you're specifically looking for the scenes about Pike having visions of his future, they are in this episode . . . but be warned that this is not a good episode.

    "Such Sweet Sorrow I & II" - This two-parter is the season finale where Discovery makes the jump to a thousand years in the future. Discovery and Enterprise get into the major battle discussed in the SNW premiere that the alien civilization observed to develop the warp bomb. If you want to see what the Enterprise was like that made everybody beg Paramount to make the SNW show in the first place, this is the episode to watch. It's also really damn entertaining television, especially the second part. At the end of the second episode, for the last ten minutes or so, Disco is gone into the future and the focus shifts entirely to the Enterprise, Pike, Spock, & Number One as they deal with the aftermath. It shows them making reports to Starfleet and preparing to leave spacedock and move on with their mission. The characters, particularly Pike, are in a bit of a different position and headspace than we find them in when SNW picks up . . . but, you have to remember, at the time, it was thought that would be the last time we would ever see them. No one at Paramount was expecting they would be making a SNW series due to fan clamor. So they tried to send the characters off on a bit of a different note than we find them on when SNW begins.

    So, if you read all that . . .

    I'd recommend watching the Talos IV episode "If Memory Serves" and "Such Sweet Sorrow I & II." They're good television and you'll pick up what's going on from context clues without needing to worry about Disco continuity. Just watch a youtube clip for the scenes when Pike learns about his future because otherwise that episode is going to be confusing as all hell (and the rest of it sucks, too).

    Omicron said: "You can't really compare months of terrorizing half the nation with the Jan 6 incident."

    You can compare anything to anything.

    The BLM protests cost about 1.5 billion dollars in damages. Policing costs 180 billion per year. The protestors are protesting because of the police (their murders, their siphoning of social funds, and the perceived complicity of the Trump administration). So the folk being paid 180 billion, are also causing that extra 1.5 billion. On top of this, those police cost over 3.2 billion per decade to settle wrongful murder claims. So the police being protested for murdering people, are literally more damaging than the protestors protesting how damaging they are.

    Meanwhile, climate change cost the US about $150 billion a year, and will go up by countless trillions in the future. In the peak years of the BLM protests, the 10 costliest weather disasters/fires in the US saw insured damages worth about 500 billion.

    Meanwhile, in addition to Trump's environmental roll backs, many climate scientists were targeted and pushed out of jobs by the Trump administration. Indeed, Trump couldn't legally shut down EPA or National Science Foundation departments, or fire scientists outright, so began moving key buildings dedicated to climate science instead, relocating them to the wilderness or out of state under the guise of "restructuring" or "cutting costs". Unable to uproot their families to a new state, scientists were forced to quit.

    The point is, January 6th is only "less destructive" if you divorce it from its movement, political party and ideology. In the real world, all the aforementioned have far larger costs. In the real world, a normally functioning America is "extremism" par excellence. It's quotidian, day-to-day workings - what passes for "law and order" - are extremist to many millions of people.

    One thing people forget is that Native Americans are killed most often per capita than any other race in America. The rate of fatal police shootings for Native Americans is almost twice as that for black people.

    It's not a coincidence that the people literally enslaved and literally genocided by Americans literally get shot the most today (and that police racial bias correlates with poverty). In the past, Native Americans used to "protest" and eventually got "pacified" for this. Now people riot over black dudes getting shot. There's nothing historically "abnormal" or "ghastly" about that. This is always what happens. And the "explanations" for these "uprisings" are always the same: nefarious cabals made them do it, a trope which goes back centuries (cf the British Empire, and its paranoia about folk "stirring up the natives").

    IIsat sat: "At the end of the day, what America needs is a new, progressive-based party that unites disenfranchised black, white, Latino, Asian people under a philosophy of reasserting their power (as a people). "

    IMO you have things back to front. Progressive parties don't "heal racial and social divides", people are wedged further apart to prevent progressive parties and policies. Find a major labor leader in world history, and you'll tend to find a huge movement blossoming instantly to oppose them on weird "othered" grounds (atheist, communist, satanist, Jewish, black, anarchist, gay etc).

    Theoretically you can organize masses of people, but organized money now tends to be more powerful. I don't live in America, but last time I checked, polls showed most Americans not knowing who their District Attorney, mayor, or school superintendents are, and not turning up to local and mid term elections. Moneyed interests can then target or pump their resources into capturing the Executive Branch, legislative branch and judicial branch. Similarly, you need massive majorities in the house and senate to enact the simplest progressive policies - corporate/Republican friendly policies and corporate tax cuts only require simple majorities - whereas corporations can focus on bribing one or two congressmen to block your policies indefinitely.

    Although Jammer rated the episode a half star lower than I did, it's a defensible rating. The issue with this episode is although it didn't have any real flaws (other than perhaps monster-izing the Gorn, and the setup of Una's mission not making much sense) it also was a fairly unambitious episode - and ultimately an unremarkable one. It only stands out in the context of recent live action dramatic Trek because it succeeds in all the ways Discovery and Picard have failed (i.e., manages to tell a coherent story with an identifiable character arc and themes in less than an hour).

    Regarding the political back-and-forth, it's important to note that - pictures from January 6th aside, Pike's message could be seen as a sort of "radical centrism" insofar as he is saying it doesn't matter "who started it" or which side is wrong, what matters is coming together as a unified culture and putting away recriminations. Many of us wouldn't agree with this, but I do think it's true that if we look at political fights from the early 18th century, we really don't have much of a "team" to root for (except I suppose insofar as there was already a developing classical liberal/pro-enlightenment faction, but for the most part this was still the realm of philosophy, not political power).

    @Heiko @Chris Lopes

    Worth mentioning is also that two of the Short Treks episodes from 2019 are set aboard the Enterprise and feature the SNW characters:

    "Q&A" - This one is about Spock's first day ever aboard the Enterprise and meeting Number One for the first time.

    "Ask Not" - This one features Pike, and telling any more about it would spoil what's going on because you aren't meant to know until the end. (The other character in this short is one I'd love to see turn up on SNW at some point, I feel like she made a real impression.)

    They're only eight minutes long or something like that. But I'd say they're worth watching.

    A very promising start. We've been burned on multiple occasions by now, but still... this shows real promise. I agree with Jammer's ratings: three stars feels about right as the episode does what it sets out to do very competently and with flair, but is by no means an exceptional hour of TV. Still, after having endured Season 2 of Picard, Strange New Worlds is a breath of fresh air.

    I am particularly pleased with the cast and characters. Anson's Pike is of course magnificent, which I expected after his delightful run on Discovery, but the rest of the crew seem to be in a very nice place, ready for further development. La'an is intriguing, but I am even more interested in Chapel, but that may be because I found Jess Bush's portrayal magnetic... and, dare I say, quite sexy.

    @Jammer: "it's a TOS-style story made with 21st-century filmmaking. Of course it looks great. Pretty much every episode of these new shows looks great."

    This is where I partially disagree with Jammer. Yes, SNW looks great. In fact it looks so much better than other NuTrek fare, because Kurtzman's NuTrek, in my eyes, does not look good at all. Outer ship visuals on PIC and DSC are often blurry, unfocused, and without surface detail, looking rather videogamey. But it's more than that. Set design is very grey, dark, and unappealing, having none of that good old Trek color. Sets are also usually small and spartan. Finally, through all these 6 NuTrek seasons on PIC and DSC we have barely ever seen alien worlds and civilizations and even when those shows took place off ship (not counting 2024 Los Angeles, ugh), the locations weren't exactly wowing me. Cramped, claustrophobic, and unimaginative is how I would describe them more often than not.

    On the other hand, SNW does look much better on all these fronts. It's colorful and fresh with big pretty sets. That "Ten Forward" bar/restaurant area seen in trailers looks particularly impressive. We'll see how it goes from here.

    Ok, I will be very brief because I'm a little tired. Democracies collapse when wealth is too unevenly distributed. I'll spare you the reasons why that happened. I just recently read a study about how conservative parties change from economic to cultural issues when economic benefits are distributed very unevenly. IIsat is correct there are fundamental problems but because of this truism from Reagan that the state is the problem, there won't be enough support for a program of redistribution. The last economically left president was LBJ (the great society programs), more than 50 years ago. I doubt that there will be another any time soon. As I said some time ago, my opinion as a political scientist is, that the US democracy will not "survive" the next 20 years. I also think that the US is past the point of no return.
    It will probably be a right wing coup and the USA will maybe become more like South American countries who often alternate between democratic and authoritarian phases or follow a somewhat oligarchic system which in a sense it already is to some degree. Well, on the other hand the USA overcame the gilded age so who knows. They might surprise me. :)

    To finish this let me quote La Fontaine:"Everyone easily believes what they fear or desire."

    So now don't get all riled up about one scene. Enjoy your show!

    There is nothing new here: as Jammers clearly explains, this is a TOS episode shot in the 21st century, with the moral play at the core of many TNG episode right in your face.

    And by golly, it hit me hard!

    I guess the last decade or so made me pine for a more enlightened time, and THIS Trek brought hope back. Bring back hope. What a concept!

    Now that's what I'm talking about! Very pleasantly surprised. Maybe I am overpraising it because the other shows got my expectations so low, but I would definitely rate this higher than Jammer does (although I generally agree with his review). I'm tempted to go all the way to four stars but I will just say 3 1/2.

    It actually seems like an episode of THE ORVILLE, which is a compliment.

    Overall, was mildly impressed. One nitpick I had though is there was too much allusion and conversation around Season 2 of Discovery.

    I was hoping that SNW could exist separate and apart, so one wouldn't need to watch that trainwreck to fully grasp this new show. Oh well.

    I have a nagging suspicion that the writers and producers just won't be able to restrain their tendencies for very long... and this show will end up being Discovery wearing a TOS skinsuit.

    Anyone else catch/hope that the "warp bomb" was a deep cut from the Star Trek: Federation novel by the Reeves-Stevensons?

    @Mike Lindell
    "I don't even.... poo poo fart."

    Okay, you win. I bow to your superior reasoning and intellect.

    "Omicron - that I can certainly agree with. Two wrongs do not make a right, though. Trump gaslit his people months before the 2020 election. 'The only way I can lose is if the election is rigged.' That sort of stuff."

    I agree Trump was often stupid and too confrontational. I ain't gonna argue with that.

    In his defense, though, he was facing an organized demonizing campaign of unprecedented magnitude. The woke-cult crazies (which people often confuse with "the left") have targeted him personally. In certain circles, Trump was said to be as bad as Hitler and things like that.

    Moreover, for months before the election, the woke-cult crazies waged an active war on freedom-of-speech. "Dissenting" opinion about many things (politics, gender identity, COVID etc) were harshly silenced on all major media platforms. There is no debate that these things happened. And this - on it's own - already constitutes an unlawful attempt at influencing the results of the election.

    Trump knew all this. So can you really blame him for expecting fraud in the election itself? I can't.

    I *do* blame him for not being smart about it. He should have been more subtle and more discrete. Unfortunately, "subtle" and "discrete" are not words that are commonly associated with Mr. Trump.

    "Well, he lost, and long before he had any idea what had happened, it was suddenly fraud. Everywhere! And his acolytes ate it up. Because they were conditioned to long before the election occurred."

    Do you really think that if Trump hadn't said these things, people would think everything is okay?

    You really think that after months of our basic free-speech rights being trampled and the "woke-cult" openly playing the dirtiest tricks in the book, people would need Trump to tell them that this ain't gonna be a fair game?

    "What do we know to date?"

    I really don't want to get into the question of the election itself, because *all* the information we've gotten went through the a propaganda filter from both sides.

    And that's precisely the thing that should alarm us: The fact that the system allowed this incredible mess to occur in the first place. There was no proper investigation AT ALL.

    Of-course, most of the fraud claims were proven false beyond all doubt. But whenever something even a bit suspicious turned up, it was quickly dropped like a hot potato. This - at least - was the impression I was getting by following the saga on the news (from multiple sources).

    "Which raises a more frightening possibility. The election, especially with the mass mail-in balloting and ad hoc COVID policies, produced enough cracks and crevices that undetectable fraud and manipulation did occur."


    And if the system cared at all about fairness, then fixing these cracks and crevices would have been their first priority.

    Does this happen? Way too often: No. Apparently, it's much easier to smugly laugh at the opposition and say "ha ha, crazy Trump made you lot paranoid" than to actually strengthen the integrity of a broken system.

    After the 100th time this happened, what would you expect people to think?

    "So, I ultimately do believe some amount of fraud occurred. Just not nearly enough to overcome an 8 million vote delta. "

    Would you believe 42,000 votes?

    Because that's all that was needed to turn the elections:

    Wisconsin: a lead of 20,682 (0.6% of the votes in that state)
    Arizona: a lead of 10,457 (0.3% of the votes in that state)
    Georgia: a lead of 11,779 (0.23% of the votes in that state)

    Total: 42,918.

    So, was there fraud to this extent in these three states? We'll probably never know for sure. But given that:
    (1) We're talking about fractions of a percent here.
    (2) We *know* that the pre-election campaign was unlawfully influenced by attempts at silencing and terrorizing Trump's supporters.

    I think it is a distinct possibility.

    By the way, the fact that the media loves to repeat this "8 million votes margin" rubbish (which is an outright lie) is also a sign of an extremely unfair game.


    "The point is, January 6th is only 'less destructive' if you divorce it from its movement, political party and ideology. In the real world, all the aforementioned have far larger costs."

    It's ridiculous to compare the *direct costs* of the BLM riots with "all the costs of the ideology" of Trump supporters.

    And believe me: You do *not* want to compare the total cost of Trump's ideology with that of the cult you are following. I still remember your open admittance that you regard basic human rights as optional, if they stand in the way of enforcing your grand principles. I still remember you saying that it's okay to vandalize another man's property "because property laws are bad".

    Sorry pal, but people with such a crazy view of morality should not go around lecturing others about "the costs of their ideology". People who live in glass houses et al.

    By the way:

    If you are so concerned about Climate Change as well as general scientific literacy, then I strongly suggest you stop supporting a cult that antagonizes people to these issues.

    For one thing, people don't like to be pushed.

    For another thing, your lot is spouting complete nonsense so often, that there's no way people would believe you guys even when you speak the truth.

    You want to talk about a disaster of apocalyptic proportion? Then picture this:

    Picture a world where 80% of the population has no respect to scientists, because of the way your lot has bastardized and politicized the issue. Sea levels rise, but nobody cares because your lot were too busy bullying them and lying to them, instead of educating them.

    Picture a world where 80% of the population refuses to take vaccines, because of a complete breakdown of trust in the medical system. A world where engineers are scarce because nobody wants to become one. A world where superstition and fundamentalism soar to unprecedented heights, because people are sick and tired of science being forcefully shoved down their throat.

    This is the kind of world that your lot is creating. And let me tell you:

    As a good old liberal who firmly believes in good old liberal values, your cult scares me far more than Trump's crowd.

    It did occur to me that the people on the planet they visited could have been like "You guys didn't seem to turn out so bad, so is this really such a cautionary tale?"

    @Mal: "Voyager is just outright bad overall."

    Hard disagree! "Latent Image", "Meld", "Death Wish", "Remember", "Unity", "Distant Origin", and "Drone" are for my money right up there with the best of Trek. And there are quite a few other perfectly enjoyable episodes, as well as a bunch that aren't so good. (Note that @Li'Griv made a very similar case in favor of Voyager, but while they named nine great episodes and I named seven, our respective lists only have one episode in common!)

    I do agree with Mak though that this is the best Trek pilot.

    @Rahul: I have the opposite take, I don't even see why the admiral had to get Pike out of trouble. It shouldn't be a PD violation at all when the problems are caused by accidental pest contamination of the culture.

    @OTDP: Srsly? You think using Jan. 6 bluntly shows their political hand? Like only Democrats think it was an appalling assault on our democracy? Archconservative Liz Cheney sacrificed her House leadership position to hold fast to her principled denunciation. Mike Pence, no liberal he, says he and Trump "will never see eye to eye" about that day. Many others, like Lindsey Graham and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, started out with scathing criticism before running for cover. Four of the five previous GOP presidential nominees who lived to see Trump become president denounced him (and one of them voted to convict him in the Senate, twice). Then there's Mattis, Bolton, and on and on.

    I remind (or inform, for newer posters) you that I complained when they made the only straight white man on Discovery a secret Trump clone. Not fond of that show's politics at all. But to say it's partisan to hold up Jan. 6 as an inarguably bad thing? What are we doing here?

    Okay, now: @daya mentioned evenhandedness. I'm going to demonstrate my own evenhandedness in my reply to @Booming, who said BLM has "scientifically measurable reasons". When in fact careful study has found that unarmed Black people are no more likely to be killed by police than are unarmed white people (the videos of this happening to white people simply don't go viral). But the biased media will not publicize this fact (just as they played down the Obama/Holder DOJ conclusion that the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson was justified), and anyone prominent who talks about it on social media will get canceled.

    So my attitude toward the MAGA crowd and BLM is definitely "a pox on both your houses".

    @Heiko, I would skip Discovery if I were you.

    I cannot evaluate a study I don't know. I also never said that unarmed black people are of higher risk of being killed by police. With "scientifically measurable" I meant the study I mentioned (in Germany we don't use black names, we use Arabic/Turkish names) and many other aspects. Black people are still significantly poorer, live in worse conditions, more crime, worse health care, worse education and so on. Poorer people commit crimes that are more often persecuted and sentenced more severely than white collar crime. Aides of Nixon openly admitted that the war on drug was mostly about decreasing black voting. In low income neighborhoods police brutality is more common. These and other things were what I meant. Some police officer killing a guy by choking him is just the drop that makes the barrel overflow.

    here the quote from John Ehrlichman
    "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people," Ehrlichman told journalist Dan Baum in 1994. "You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or blacks, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities."

    Also in that context I want to mention something I read in the Afghanistan papers ( Strongly recommended). A charter plane of the US went over the runway in Kandahar and crashed into a residential area. The official report stated that two people died, the two pilots. A few days afterwards some press reports indicated that maybe 5-6 civilians had died which the government strongly denied. A Lt. Col. who was at the scene really struggled with that because his team alone (there were several teams) dug up at least a dozen dead civilians. Point being, the police and the military are essentially reporting on their own "problems". Esprit de Corps has a tendency to downplay or straight up ignore unpleasant realities. That's why body cameras exist. Good for decent cops, not so much for the bad ones.

    There is this video of Trump's campaign manager and there he learned some important lessons about the police. Imagine if he was a guy who had no trust in the police.

    @Booming: Why would you reply to me with a citation of the Trump campaign manager? And Nixon 1968, 54 years ago? We have made a lot of progress since then, thanks mostly to Democrats (I am a Democrat, remember: I have never voted for a Republican although I don't like left-wing Democrats) but BLM and their supporters do not recognize this.

    @Slacker Inc
    "@OTDP: Srsly? You think using Jan. 6 bluntly shows their political hand? Like only Democrats think it was an appalling assault on our democracy?"

    Please don't put words in my mouth.

    A person can agree that Jan. 6 was an appalling assault on our democracy while also firmly stating that "Jan. 6 -> Global Nuclear war" is showing the writers' political hand. Especially when this is done while ignoring the background of the said event: Months upon months of behavior that was also an appalling assault on our democracy from the other side.

    I've already listed these violations dozens of times on this site and at least twice on this thread. I don't want to repeat myself, so forgive me for not going through that list of atrocities again. The only thing I will repeat is this: I firmly stand by my statement that the hell we've gone through in 2020 was far worse than the Jan. 6 incident.

    To summarize: Yes, using Jan. 6 *in this manner* sure is showing the writers' political hand.

    A few more positive things to say on the episode:

    @Slacker Inc
    "It actually seems like an episode of THE ORVILLE, which is a compliment."

    That was the first thought that went through my mind when I watched those bits and pieces. Looks like the homages have come full circle here :-)

    And another thing I liked (beyond the things I've alrady stated):

    The actress who played Uhura nailed the part. It really felt like we're seeing Nichelle Nichol's character again.

    Most of these war on drug policies are still in place. That's why I mentioned them. They are one of the main reasons of the mass incarceration in the USA. As an example of some of the policies the current black rights movement fights against. I wasn't implying anything about you.

    At first, I thought the engagement scene dialogue was utterly absurd and poorly written for a pair of Vulcans, mostly because the writers were too lazy to flesh out the query/response lines with actual substance.

    And I still think so, but now I believe I've caught on to what the writers were actually trying to do here. Picture, instead, a young human couple in a 1960s-era teen comedy, flirting and giggling at the pizza shop:

    "Spocky spock?"
    "What what?"
    "Will you marry me?"
    "Gosh, yes!"
    (passionate kissing)
    "Hey, you two lovebirds - get a room!"

    @Booming: "Most of these war on drug policies are still in place."

    Some. Not most. Two of the biggest states (New York and California) had draconian penalties for marijuana use in the Sixties, which is why Timothy Leary fled to Mexico. Today, marijuana is fully legal in both states and a bunch of others. But the worst drug war policy in terms of racial disparity was the huge difference in penalties for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine. That injustice was ended during the Obama administration.

    But we are getting too far off on a tangent. I reiterate my point that the wokeness we saw on Discovery was nauseating. Straight white men are not inherently evil, and the American society of today is one of the most progressive in terms of race relations that the world has ever seen, yet BLM and woke progressives like that show's writers refuse to acknowledge this.

    But to highlight January 6 as going down a dark road that could potentially lead to a second Civil War is a very defensible, mainstream perspective. Anyone who gets their back up when someone decries what happens on January 6 should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.

    @Slacker Inc
    "But to highlight January 6 as going down a dark road that could potentially lead
    to a second Civil War is a very defensible, mainstream perspective"

    Somewhat mainstream, yes. Defensible? I don't think so.

    I would like to point out that you've repeated this statement several times, yet you've never given any argument to support it.

    I remind you that the issue here is not whether the events of January 6, taken on their own, are bad (which they are). The question is whether these events can reasonably be seen as an escalation after everything that happened in the previous year.

    So far, this is an issue you have completely ignored. What you're doing here is like an historian who focuses on a single battle from (say) 1944 and is appalled by the inhumanity of it all, while completely ignoring the fact that a World War was already raging for a few years. Yes, context does matter (CDM?).

    I would also like to add that throughout the entire madness of 2020, the right has shown amazing restraint. Throughout months of provocation and vandalism and terror, they've mostly sat back and let the craziness run its course. For an entire f***ing year they bit their lips and watched BLM and their extremist "leftist" buddies wreck havoc all over the nation - both physically and socially, and they did (almost) nothing.

    Then came the straw that broke the camels back: A total mockery of the pre-election process. Censorship. Organized attempts to silence and intimidate. And a complete disregard for any person who demanded a fair and honest process.

    All of this was done completely in the open. The people involved stated their intentions and their actions openly, and feared no one:

    "Now we'll shut up people who talk about topic X".

    "Now we'll kick politicians Y and Z from facebook and twitter".

    "Now we'll shut down the servers of alternative discussion sites and we'll intimidate other IT providers to do as we do... because we have all the big tech megacorporations on our side".

    Do you realize how serious and fucked-up this situation was? Seriously, the events of that year were like something from a cheap dystopian movie.

    And then came January 6: A bunch of people who couldn't take this abuse any longer, have decided to do something very stupid and very irresponsible. So what did they do? They marched into the Capitol, took some selfies, broke a few things, fooled around inside for a bit, got arrested (one of them got killed for her trouble) and... that's it basically. In the end, nothing have come out of it.

    So please enlighten me: Given this context, how can any reasonable person view Jan 6 as an escalation? How, in the name of the Great Bird of the Galaxy, can any reasonable person see Jan 6 as more fucked up then the things that routinely occurred just a year before?

    (it's a telltale sign of the crazy times we live in, that a mob having free reign in a top-security government building is a tamer incident than the cr*p that happened regularly throughout the previous year...)

    Always love the twitter politics discussions on a star trek episode discussion forum :)

    @Jeffrey's Tube, thanks for the recommendations. I don't remember ever watching the Trek Shorts, and both "Q & A" and "Ask Not" were enjoyable!

    Totally agree that Cadet Thira Sidhu from "Ask Not" would be great on Strange New Worlds.

    List of rejected catchphrases for captains of a Federation starship when ordering warp speed:

    Zoom zoom!
    Let's boogie!
    Full steam ahead!
    Ready, set, go!
    Pedal to the metal!
    Blast off!
    Haul ass!
    Git 'r done!
    Make us go. [*actually reserved for the first Pakled captain in Starfleet]

    I can easily see "Haul Ass!" being a command to go to Warp on a show as horribly written as Picard.

    "I love the powerglove, it's so bad."

    @SlackerInc said,

    "I'm going to demonstrate my own evenhandedness in my reply to @Booming, who said BLM has "scientifically measurable reasons". When in fact careful study has found that unarmed Black people are no more likely to be killed by police than are unarmed white people (the videos of this happening to white people simply don't go viral). But the biased media will not publicize this fact (just as they played down the Obama/Holder DOJ conclusion that the Mike Brown shooting in Ferguson was justified), and anyone prominent who talks about it on social media will get canceled."

    What study are you citing? Because the most thorough study from the Washington Post concluded the opposite: "Although half of the people shot and killed by police are White, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate."

    Again I ask ye o lord, why are right wing trolls on a Star Trek forum of all places?

    Isn't there a Bibleman forum or a VeggieTales forum to go talk about how black people suck?


    Your entire political argument is one big strawman. You seem to be arguing that the January 6 riot of the US Capitol Building and its main attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden as president (not as you say, "take some selfies") was somehow a logical response to the BLM protests earlier in the summer and social media suspensions of right wing voices. Neither issue, whether protests lead by private citizens (not politicians), or decisions made by private corporations have anything to do with government, nor the Democrat politicians represented in government. Government does not get a say in who gets to protest and what private corporations allow according to their terms of service. To conflate those decisions with somehow representative of Democrat policy is absurd.

    On the other hand, Trump and many many actual Republican politicians (Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, etc.) have vocally supported stopping Biden's certification. That is obscene in a liberal democracy. You cannot compare these issues. Furthermore, actual Republican politicians are supporting the idea of ignoring the popular vote of a state and sending their own electors for next time. It's downright terrifying.

    Bucktown said:

    "You seem to be arguing that the January 6 riot of the US Capitol Building and its main attempt to stop the certification of Joe Biden as president (not as you say, "take some selfies") was somehow a logical response to the BLM protests"

    They also threw in a heaping helping of "it's because they were so mean to Trump".

    I'm sure Hillary Clinton is laughing at that one.

    An off-topic subforum would be nice, if only to not have to scroll through all these political posts which are now somehow the majority on a Star Trek forum.

    I won't be setting up an off-topic forum. While I roll my eyes every time one of these threads veers so far off course, the last thing I want to do is set aside a separate part of the site where this is encouraged. There would be no end to it.

    This is what nuTrek gets for being so contemporarily on the nose.

    So, i can be as rude as I want, veer conversations off course as much as I want, name-call as much as I want, and when called on it, say “NuTrek made me do it”? Not liking something for being too “on the nose” is an excuse to take Jammers’ forum rules and trash them?

    Amen , ignore the people who suck the air out of the room on each and every thread. Responding to them just gives them more to huff and puff about. They will try to ruin things for the rest of us no matter what the comments section is supposed to be about, so why not ignore them for a change?

    “Don’t engage!”

    Here's the one thing that makes me the most worried about the quality of future episodes, and it wasn't Pike's big speech to this week's aliens. It was Pike's speech after that -- his speech to La'an at the end.

    Pike gave La'an a classic example of a Michael Burnham speech. All platitudes, and no substance. It was intended to be inspirational, but it didn't inspire me, because it was nothing more than a string of high-minded phrases suitable for a "deep thought of the day" daily devotional.

    And, of course, La'an responded as if he had actually said something profound and life-changing. She gave him just the sort of completely unearned worshipful look that everyone gives to Saint Michael Burnham.

    The only saving grace, compared to a Burnham speech, is that Anson Mount can deliver it more convincingly, with a confident smile (instead of eyes brimming with tears).

    The two actors did their best to pretend that Pike's speech wasn't crap. And just like in Discovery, the writers assumed that the audience will believe the crap is brilliant just because the characters believe it's brilliant.

    I'm including the platitudes in Pike's log, the voiceover that immediately followed his speech to La'an.

    "Earth - the dust and sky - is my hearth. But Enterprise is my home. We can go forward together, knowing that whatever shadows we bring with us, they make the light all the brighter. I am... a lucky man."

    It's already started. Pike is starting to become Michael Burnham.

    @Mike Lindell
    "Again I ask ye o lord, why are right wing trolls on a Star Trek forum of all places?"

    I just love how every person who doesn't agree with you on certain things is automatically "right wing". That's even more convincing than your previous ironclad argument of "poo poo fart". ;-)

    Now let me blow your mind:

    It is possible for a person to be left-leaning while still being appalled at what was done to the Republicans and Trump in 2020.

    It is also possible for a person to be right-leaning while still being appalled at what happened at the Capitol in Jan 6.

    This is something called basic human decency, which has sadly become a rare commodity in the past couple of years.

    "Government does not get a say in who gets to protest and what private corporations allow according to their terms of service."

    In this case, it does. That's precisely the problem.

    The madness of 2020 was an organized attack which got the full support of Democrat politicians on both the local, state and federal level.

    They've voiced their support openly and publicly. They've done this in congress, on TV and on the net. Half the nation was on fire, and the entire Democrat roster wholeheartedly supported it just because they loved seeing Trump squirm.

    Let us not pretend that this did not happen, okay?

    "On the other hand, Trump and many many actual Republican politicians (Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, etc.) have vocally supported stopping Biden's certification."

    Unless you mean "stopping it by any legal means", then this is simply false.

    Trump, at the very least, has never said such a thing. Neither did the majority of Republican politicians. They did call for protests (and rightly so). They did call for not forgetting what happened (and rightly so).

    Most of them (including Trump) did *not* call for any unlawful acts before Jan 6.

    Most of them (including Trump) openly denounced the incident immediately afterwards.

    Speaking of which: You probably never heard Trump doing this, because he was banned from all major social platforms and TV networks at the time. You would have needed to actively search for his speech to find it, because it sure wasn't broadcasted on any mainstream channel.

    I find myself asking this question a lot lately: Do you realized how fucked up this situation is?

    "That is obscene in a liberal democracy."

    I agree. It is obscene for politicians from either side to support illegal anti-democratic actions. Glad we sorted that bit up.

    " Half the nation was on fire"

    This must have happened in the Kelvin universe too...

    Almost all former cabinet members and military leaders under Trump reported numerous incidents where Trump wanted to do illegal things.

    That's what he said to Esper, his last defensive secretary, about the protesters "Can't you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?". There is like a million instances like this.

    Oh and the fact that Trump withheld weapons for Ukraine, which they desperately needed, to get them to investigate Biden's son. It's like a banana republic.

    Then there is the Raffensperger call where Trump tried to pressure Raffensperger (a conservative republican) into handing him the election in Georgia. He refused Trump several times. If that doesn't convince you that Trump is guilty, nothing will.

    So... let's not go further down the rabbit hole and go back to Star Trek.


    "The madness of 2020 was an organized attack which got the full support of Democrat politicians on both the local, state and federal level.
    They've voiced their support openly and publicly. They've done this in congress, on TV and on the net. Half the nation was on fire, and the entire Democrat roster wholeheartedly supported it just because they loved seeing Trump squirm.
    Let us not pretend that this did not happen, okay?"

    What exactly was "the madness of 2020"? Once defined, how was it organized and who organized it? After that, where is your evidence that Democrat politicians gave their "full support"?

    Is describing "half the nation on fire" meant to be literal or exaggeration? What is your criteria for either case? Where is your evidence that the "entire Democrat roster wholeheartedly supported it", which I assume to mean the burning of half the nation?

    I will certainly not only pretend that didn't happen, but go one step further that the full extent of what you stated never actually did happen in reality. I'm sorry, but you're attempting to logically justify what is eminently an unsupportable claim.

    @Booming & @Mike Lindell,

    I'm sorry, but after what happened in 2016 and onward regarding disinformation in US politics, I've sworn that I will counter it wherever I see it, lest anyone innocent reading ever gets duped by nonsense.

    "Most of them (including Trump) did *not* call for any unlawful acts before Jan 6."

    Please read this comprehensive report fully debunking your claim:

    "Most of them (including Trump) openly denounced the incident immediately afterwards."

    Please read these articles fully debunking your claim:

    @OTDP: "And then came January 6. A bunch of people who couldn't take the abuse any longer..."

    I'm going to stop you right there. Describing them this way marks you as not someone to engage with seriously, not on this topic. As does minimizing their vicious assault on police guarding the Capitol as just that they "broke a few things, fooled around inside for a bit". The woman who "got killed for her trouble" was leading an angry mob to break into an area where members of Congress and their staff were holed up, fearing for their lives. I would suggest you read up on the French Revolution.

    @Bucktown, the Washington Post article you are citing does not make distinctions between justified and unjustified shootings, or armed or unarmed people being shot. Nor does it reckon with the fact that FBI statistics show a vastly greater percentage of Black people committing murders and other violent crimes, so it's not reasonable to expect them to be shot by police in the same proportion as their 13% of the population.

    Black people are six times as likely as whites per capita to commit murder:

    Yet your own cite says they are "killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans". ONLY twice the rate. Relative to their murder rate, white people are three times more likely to be shot by police!

    95% of those shot by police are male. Is this evidence of police bias against men?

    Despite our disagreement on this, I strongly endorse your very next comment, 18 minutes later at 4:37 PM, to OTDP about January 6--in which you also linked to a Washington Post article. I'd add that @OTDP also sounds completely delusional in claiming that Trump immediately denounced the January 6 attack. He most certainly did not! Kevin McCarthy was calling him begging him to do something and he refused. Even when he finally went on TV hours later, he told the attackers he loved them.

    I also agree with @Bucktown that false information needs to be countered, even if it risks drifting off topic (though considering this episode uses images from January 6, discussion of that day really is not off topic). That goes for the stuff @OTDP is saying, but also for false narratives about police shootings.

    "Yet your own cite says they are "killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans". ONLY twice the rate. Relative to their murder rate, white people are three times more likely to be shot by police!"

    Spurious correlation: Only because a group has a certain murder rate of x, doesn't mean that it has to have a certain rate of being shot by the police of y. Aka only because black Americans commit 6x more murders but are killed twice as often as white people by the police doesn't mean that white murderers are killed thrice as many times in comparison.

    "Spurious correlation"

    Ditto - was going to reply with similar counter argument.

    I'm not sure what your ultimate point is here? Are you arguing that because Black Americans disproportionately commit more murders, that means their disproportionate rate of being murdered by police is justified? Or that the BLM marches/protests are not justified? If either, I'm not sure how you can make such tautological leap in logic.

    All you need to know is that they are murdered by police twice the rate as white Americans. That reveals a very stark reality of how police handle Black suspects vs. white suspects, implying a racial bias. Their training and policies need to change as a result. It's not a hard concept.

    I wasn't really making a counter-argument. His logic is faulty. These kind of statistical mistakes are common. I have not looked at the actual numbers or correlated them with software so I cannot make any statement the question. It is possible that SlackerInc is right. I don't know.

    Why am I seeing 4chan tier "blacks kill people alot so the cops are justified in killing them alot" arguments here?

    Thrice I beseech unto thee o merciful lord- why are these people on a forum for an ultra progressive media franchise?

    @Mike Lindell: Funny how you have a total blind spot for everything I wrote countering OTDP regarding January 6. Or the supportive things I said about Obama. I thought I made it clear that I always vote for Democrats, I just don't like the extreme left.

    @Bucktown: "Are you arguing that because Black Americans disproportionately commit more murders, that means their disproportionate rate of being murdered by police is justified?"


    "Or that the BLM marches/protests are not justified?"

    Also yes. Just as it is justified that 95% of those shot by police are male, a point you have not addressed.

    "All you need to know is that they are murdered by police twice the rate as white Americans."

    It appears you don't understand what the word "murder" means. For example, as the Obama/Holder Department of Justice reported, Michael Brown attempted to murder Darren Wilson. But Wilson did not murder Michael Brown.

    "Are you arguing that because Black Americans disproportionately commit more murders, that means their disproportionate rate of being murdered by police is justified?"


    I usually avoid the political nonsense in these threads like the plague but:

    Ick. Just ick.

    UK viewer, finally catching up. Yeah. that was great. Pisses over Discovery and Picard in one episode and reminds me of what I have missed and what I was willing to accept just because it was Star Trek. I can't wait to see more. Really enjoyed this. 3/4 easily.


    While I certainly would not have framed the argument in these terms, I think the position SlackerInc expresses to be a fairly logical one. (A fair amount of mindreading of his intentions on my part, sure, but I'll risk it)

    The argument follows: police are naturally concentrated in areas and around people where crime occur, including violent crime. Sometimes, in dealing with violent criminals, officers are forced to use deadly force; in many cases, this use results in the death of the suspect.

    Now, if you have a group which has a higher concentration of violent crime (even if most members of that group are not violent), it naturally follows that police will engage in deadly force with that particular group at greater rates than with other groups, and that increased use of deadly force is generally considered to be justified (for that is part of the purpose of a police force, to protect the populace from violent individuals). In the USA, the black population is, unfortunately, one of those groups.

    The main issue in how Bucktown words his question above is the use of the term 'murder', which is a word that necessitates an unjustified killing. And normally, a 'yes' answer to his question would be quite unpleasant - immoral, I would say. But, from reading the rest of SlackerInc's comment, it is clear that he actually doesn't consider these killings, on a conceptual level, to be murder after all, since he says that the Michael Brown killing was not a murder; in other words, a justified use of deadly force by a police officer.

    Of course, none of this negates the very real possibility that the police have engaged in unjustified killings before, or that any particular killing in future will be unjustified. It may even be possible, as many claim, that the police engage in unjustified killing of black people at greater rate than with other races. But the argument above should demonstrate that simply pointing out a higher rate of black people being killed by the police, regardless of the circumstances, is not sufficient.


    [mouse pointer hovers over 'Submit Comment' for 40 minutes. Should I?]

    On a lighter note, these reviews are making me consider actually watching Strange New Worlds. It would be my first new Trek since I dropped Enterprise ages ago. So that's saying something.

    But it's probably better if I wait.

    @Jammer: "Ick. Just ick."

    Jammer, you usually strike me as a very rational person. How is what I said different from not having a problem with 95% of those getting shot by police being male? Men commit way more violent crimes than women, so they get shot more by cops. Black people commit way more violent crime than white people do, so they get shot more by cops (although to a much lesser degree). How are the two any different? (Also, what @Henson said.)

    This is your site, and I've enjoyed being here for a decade or so, have "bought you coffee", etc. But if you don't want me here, say the word and I'll leave and never come back (but I'd be sad about it).

    Ok, to leave the save territory of numbers and throw in my thoughts. Let's go through the arguments. Yes, in an area with more violent crime one would expect more deadly use of force by the police but and that is a very big but, why are there areas with more crime? Because these areas are poor? Why are these areas poor? Because of racist policies of the very recent past and, one could argue, present. So while the police killing far more black than white people percentage wise is not necessarily a sign of all these cops being racist, it is still caused by the USA's history of racism.

    Plus there is probably a certain amount of plain racism when it comes to reasons for shootings by the police of black people. Hard to quantify, though.

    PS: Here an example of white cops talking about killing black people. They were only found out because the left on the camera by accident and some diligent officer listened to the entire tape and noticed the conversation.

    Really makes you wonder how many racist cops are not that stupid.

    @Slackerinc: The issue, I guess, was the extremely glib lack of nuance. (Henson provided the nuance.) The flat-out unconditional "Yes" that police shootings are justified in the face of some vague uncited black violent crime number implies a cause/effect that assumes that a violent crime (which may not have even happened in the presence of police) necessarily is what leads to or demands a police shooting. They aren't necessarily related, though a correlation in aggregate would make sense.

    But in fact, most of the objections that people who are protesting such shootings are the ones where the person shot was unarmed, or in their own house or car, or whatever: the UNJUSTIFIED ones that are absent a violent crime. Sure most police shootings are probably justified, of course, but those aren't the ones that most (reasonable) people are upset about. (Yes, there will always be some protesting even the justified ones, but that's not most reasonable people.) I also think dismissing the entire 2020 BLM protests throws out the baby with the bathwater. And this notion that half the country was on fire in 2020 as a result of the protests (said by others, not you) is utterly ridiculous, but I digress.

    The last thing I want to do is debate police shootings on this site (I *so* don't have the stomach or energy for that), so it was my mistake for even opening the door by putting in my equally un-nuanced and glib comment. That's a mistake I usually don't make and this was the 0.1% happenstance. I guess after seeing so much garbage in the comments lately, something in my brain snapped and you just happened to be on the receiving end of it -- which, given your history here, you don't deserve. I still think that your particular comment was not a useful one. But I suppose that's my problem.

    I never asked you to leave. I've never asked anyone to leave. This whole notion that if I take issue with one thing a commenter says and point it out that it escalates immediately to, "Well, if I'm not wanted here, I'll leave" -- not sure where exactly that comes from. I'm not going to ask someone to leave unless their behavior is beyond the pale, and certainly not over one silly comment I don't like. But I sure as hell won't beg anyone to stay if they're not happy here, either.

    I mostly just stay the hell out of it. I'll be going back to doing that now. Better for everyone that way.

    "Men commit way more violent crimes than women, so they get shot more by cops. Black people commit way more violent crime than white people do, so they get shot more by cops (although to a much lesser degree)"

    That's a gross oversimplification.

    The numbers themselves mean nothing without a further division of circumstances and cop behavior.

    When you look at these details, there is no denying that racism-motivated police violence is a problem. And there's no denying that police brutality, in general, is also a problem.

    These problems need to be acknowledged and dealt with.
    (and fringe groups should *really* stop using these problems as sick manipulation tactics. Firstly, because two wrongs don't make a right. And secondly, because this behavior just antagonizes people. This second reason my not be "fair" but it's a fact of basic human psychology)

    @Slacker Inc
    "I'm going to stop you right there. Describing them this way marks you as not someone to engage with seriously, not on this topic. As does minimizing their vicious assault on police guarding the Capitol as just that they 'broke a few things, fooled around inside for a bit' "

    I've seen the broadcast of what happened, live and unedited.

    And you are right, if we can't even agree on the basic facts of what happened, then there is no point in continuing this discussion.

    I'll just leave you with one point to think about:

    How is it possible for two intelligent honest decent people to have such wildly differing views on the same event? An event which was broadcast live all over the world?

    Saying "you're delusional" doesn't really answer this question. Neither of us is crazy. Neither of us would deliberately lie about such a thing. Niether of us is afraid of saying "our political side is wrong" and we're on the same side of the political spectrum anyway.

    So what the heck is going on here? What's the source of the error?

    @Jammer: I appreciate your response. I know you didn't (and probably wouldn't) ask me to leave. I just wanted to know, after your "ick" comment, whether you didn't like that I was here--in which case, I didn't want to be here.

    Re: "some vague uncited black violent crime number", I did link to FBI statistics which are broken down by race. They show that Black people commit murder at six times the rate white people do.

    There are definitely way too many unjustified killings by police, of people of all races. And some of them are likely racist, but that numbers in aggregate don't show that. I was responding to the argument that Black people get shot at twice the rate of their proportion of the population, and my point is that this is essentially innumeracy when you don't factor in the fact that they have many more encounters with police. And that this is not just because of "overpolicing" and police harassment, since they commit more violent crimes and in fact the majority of Black people who are not criminals (as Henson pointed out) WANT greater police presence in their neighborhoods.

    Tony Timpa, a white man, was killed by police in a similar way as George Floyd. The footage was released in 2019 (three years after the fact) but did not go viral:

    The shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin in July 2020 inflamed that state. But Blake, unlike Floyd, really was dangerous. The police were called on him by his ex-girlfriend because he broke in and was attacking and terrorizing her (including sexual assault). When the cops came, he resisted mightily, was Tased twice, and was grabbing the gun on the floor of his car when he got shot.

    Here's an example of how perilous it can be for police to hesitate to use more lethal force when someone is resisting. This guy resisted like crazy for a very long time, and seemed mostly like he was just a whiny idiot. But after fighting off being handcuffed for a long time (like Blake, getting tased ineffectually) and screaming and crying about it, he reached into his car and suddenly pulled out a weapon. In his case it was a gun and he killed two cops. One of them was wearing a body cam, which made the footage very eerie. If you don't want to see a POV video of someone getting shot dead, skip the last twenty seconds, but the earlier portion is instructive as to how difficult it is (especially in this country, where there are way too many guns) to know if someone resisting arrest is going to end up pulling a gun from somewhere:

    Dammit, no edit button (not that I'm saying you need to add one, Jammer, I just need to proofread more carefully before posting than on Reddit or Facebook). Jacob Blake pulled a KNIFE, not a gun. The white dude in Tulsa pulled a gun and shot those cops.

    What a treat this episode was!

    You said it all Jammer.

    SOLID 3 stars.

    Picard for me has become a chore to watch , the show has been reduced to ''guest reference'' of the week statues for gullible trek fans seeking a quiz night activity, and furthers the narrative that Akiva Goldsman and Micheal Chabon are lazy writers that never bothered to respect or consider the rich lore of Star Trek. So congratulations on banking Patrick Steward's name and past role (yes I know he agreed to this ).

    Disco only proves that serialized trek can only be taken to a certain extent , and episodic is probably the way to go (bearing references and character evolution is taken into account), and it could be a case study as to why DS9 wasn't followed in the 90's and only found interest in the age of binge watching.

    Enter SNW , assuming the first episode is a sign of things to come , Paramount might of finally hit the right formula, stick to something episodic , put in the odd past event reference and voila you have a star trek show . Probably the best decent Trek since Voyager (I assume Enterprise was never about exploration but rather the survival of a fledgling Federation).

    Wow, this thread certainly went… somewhere?

    Early on, someone suggested Jammer delete a series of exchanges critical of SNW. Some howled in opposition, and rightly so. I don’t think censorship or silencing voices is ever the first course of action, and am glad he left things alone.

    But let me advocate advocate a much harsher policy toward posts that quite literally have nothing to do with Star Trek. BLM this, Jan 6 that, Trump this, election fraud that. WHO CARES? No one is convincing each other of anything, and 90% of the effort seems to be humble-bragging about one’s knowledge/reasoning or prodding the other person into an angry, emotional response.

    Face it, most of us are old enough to know the online argument game, why it happens, what it means, and mostly what it says about our self-perceptions. In this thread alone, I’ve been saddened to see some highly respected names from other threads get dragged into the off-topic nonsense. I won’t say the names, because such an act would be precisely the passive aggressive nudging that perpetuates these off-topic arguments. Suffice to say, et tu?

    Politics and Star Trek are certainly related, no question. But these long-winded posts that contain no mention of a Star Trek show, theme, or character?

    Get rid of them, Jammer. :)

    ^truth right there
    Online arguments are usually a recipe for higher blood pressure, and nothing else.

    Trust me, I would *love* it if people stuck more to Star Trek and didn't go on these tangents so much. But I also know that's unlikely, and I simply do not have the time to take on the kind of moderation that would shape it into that, and I doubt most users want that kind of babysitting anyway. So mostly hands-off is the way (until the personal attacks come out, which will be deleted as I see them).

    Back on topic, finally was able to see the SNW pilot.

    I share the positive impressions, and the structure of the episode harkens back to the familiarity of TOS. All the characters have plenty of room for development (save a minor criticism, noted below), and the central Pike character is magnificent.

    That said, two undercurrents bugged me.

    I wasn’t bothered by the Nurse Chapel character, but she contributes to something I see too often in newer sci fi, a theme of flippant behavior in the face of crisis, as if expertise and youth grant them superiority over the unknown, and sheer ability compensates for experience. The best example, of course, is the scene where the planet native wakes up aboard the ship and begins roaming the hallways. It is treated with humor, but this only lands well if the viewer participates in the conceit of the characters, i.e., that they are so hip and cool, a major event such as an unknown species aboard the ship can be presented as if it were a shared high five after flicking a housefly. Emergency? What-EVAR!

    It also seems that modern sci fi takes a different approach to the conflict between consensus-based rules and individual emotion, in this case Pike’s response to General Order 1 being “hmmm, ah fuck it..”, cue laugh track. This occurred frequently in Picard and Discovery as well, where a character FELT a certain way, motivating them along some course of action or misadventure that fell afoul of the rules or law. In previous decades sci fi, we might have seen a character suffer silently the ultimate justice that befell them, knowing in their heart that this pain was worth the previous choice. Now, we seem to be told that feelings ARE valid and moral reasons for action, and characters who make this choice NEVER face the legal ramifications. Not only does this rob us of some character development, but also sends the message that our characters can now flit about, hopping from situation to situation, taking any action that they deem necessary, as long as it FEELS OKAY. If emotion overcomes them, it is not only understandable, but admirable. Ultimately, this infantilizes the entire cast of characters..

    In any event, I have high hopes for SNW despite tugging on these threads. There are certainly more positives than negatives after one episode.

    @Jimmy: "Emergency? What-EVAR!"

    I can see how this flippancy might bother some people but I generally enjoy it. Which is probably why I like The Orville, and MCU movies, but not so much DC movies.

    However, a critique I am more sympathetic to is that Nurse Chapel was already familiar to us as a TOS character who didn't act this way at all. So they probably should have moved this jokey stuff to other characters who were not previously established in their characterizations.


    We’re on the same wavelength here, as the Marvel-style wink-wink flippancy was exactly what I meant. But like you, I enjoy it in the Orville and at least expect it in the MCU, because we’re dealing with superheroes who know each other well. If anyone’s going to be flippant, it will be a super-team nearly bored by their superiority.

    So far, the message from episodes 1 and 2 seems to be that veteran crew members act like overconfident teenagers, and inexperienced cadets act like navel-gazing infants who doubt their every breath. Both are overly self-referential and emotional. Even half of Pike’s lines come off like they are read by a cheeky stand up comic.

    I’m halfway into episode 2, and Nurse Chapel annoys me. She wears this “no way dude!” shit-eating grin on her face constantly, no matter what the situation. I suspect in a professional crew, such a demeanor would have been throttled out of her sometime in cadet school.

    Random note, I keep expecting the mean-mugging British lady (not sure what she is, rank wise?) to yell “bowtalada!!!!” or whatever the Drummer girl on Expanse yells, because she looks and sounds exactly like her. I cherish the mean British lady, though, because her and Spock are the only crew members who exhibit even a whiff of maturity.

    Good God. I liked it. I actually liked it.

    But I am still going to nitpick - for example, the "technicality" that saves Pike from court martial lol. The writers were cheating straight up with that one.

    @Jason R., I've always felt the Prime Directive in the TOS (and pre-TOS) era was a little more lax and "wild west" than in the TNG days. I attribute this to the gradual development of the universe and the writers building on previous shows (until we end up with "Homeward," where Picard says they must allow the society to be obliterated and is aghast when Nikolai saves a few of them). But in-universe it could be a matter of evolving the regulation over time.

    In this case, Pike was trying to undo the damage done by what was already Starfleet's (inadvertent) interference -- these people should never have had the weapons in the first place -- so he's effectively trying to put the genie back in the bottle. See also Kirk's (more extreme) actions in "A Taste of Armageddon," where he strong-arms that world into ending their sanitized war.

    "In this case, Pike was trying to undo the damage done by what was already Starfleet's (inadvertent) interference -- these people should never have had the weapons in the first place -- so he's effectively trying to put the genie back in the bottle. See also Kirk's (more extreme) actions in "A Taste of Armageddon," where he strong-arms that world into ending their sanitized war."

    Jammer I 100% agree.

    Except that is not the technicality the Admiral claimed resulted in Pike being exonerated.

    He claimed that because the big battle at the end of Discovery (which by merely observing through their telescopes somehow caused the inhabitants of the planet to instantaneously invent a warp bomb!!) technically "didn't happen" through some legal or time travel tomfoolery which I don't know about (I didn't watch Discovery) that means legally Pike didn't breach General Order 1.

    Except.... WHOOPIE that isn't what the hearing should have been about - obviously Pike isn't getting court marshalled for saving the freaking universe(!) he is getting court marshalled because he flew the Enterprise up to the capital of this alien world, announced his presence, influenced their society and then *invited them to joing the freaking Federation*.

    Did THAT event that we just saw in the episode not happen? Talk about the writing being too clever for its own good.

    @ Jason R.,

    "obviously Pike isn't getting court marshalled for saving the freaking universe(!)"

    Kirk did basically get court martialed for saving the freaking universe in ST IV. Heh.

    I swore off nuTrek after season 3 of Disco and season 1 of Picard and cancelled my subscription. I swore that I wouldn't buy it again until a full season of reasonably good reviews from people I trust, like Jammer.

    But Paramount let me watch the premiere of SNW for free, and so I did. It's... better. The tone is improved, the pacing made sense, the cinematography and lighting was better (although still unnecessarily dark in some shots for my taste). The shots of planets and ships was warmer. The cast seemed more appropriately ensemble.

    Anyways, still a bit concerned that some of the characters are mostly making decisions based on their feelings, and are acting somewhat unprofessional (Nurse Chapel getting excited when a patient freaks out and escapes sick bay, before Pike has made the decision to contaminate their society with the explicit knowledge of aliens? WTF?) Also, every character apparently has to have some dark twisted backstory? We know Pike's traumatized from Disco. Now La'al describes watching her family killed by Gorn. And next week, apparently Uhura gives her own troubled backstory. Such a cliche.

    I generally dislike episodes that hem and haw over the finer points of the "Prime Directive", as it never was enforced or interpreted in a coherent and consistent manner. So that is a strike against it from the outset. I also didn't like how dismissive Pike was of the Prime Directive without much discussion when he made a decision. He didn't have a coherent philosophical viewpoint that he expressed, he just went with "I don't want to go to alien prison, I'll expose us first". Fair enough, I might make the same decision. But then, I am not a Starfleet Captain.

    All that aside, I think I am a bit oversensitive to the show's flaws because of similar ones that just got worse and worse and worse in Disco and Picard. I think that I would probably judge it better if I'd never seen those shows at all. And for that reason, I'd give it 3/4, up from a 2/4. I won't buy a subscription and watch the rest until more reviews are in, but for the first time in a while, I am optimistic that it might actually happen.

    Separate comment for the Jan. 6 footage. I'll just say that I understand why it rubbed people the wrong way that way that it was used, but that it didn't really bother me too much. It was a creative choice, and I honestly think they used it in a pretty even-handed way without casting judgement. He was talking about how words and general unrest can escalate into open conflict and war. And he was showing footage of... civil unrest, without making a comment on whether or not that unrest was justified, manufactured artificially, or anything else.

    Perhaps that intent would have been more obvious if they had shown images from fires in Kenosha or something like that as well, but I'd give it a pass. Perhaps including that footage was unnecessary since it riles up so many people. But I honestly don't think that was the intent.

    Actually I thought the "competing ideas of liberty" comment was surprisingly evenhanded. So I agree with you Chris L. that the Pike speech was not bad at all. Very Trekkian.


    "On the other hand, Trump and many many actual Republican politicians (Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, etc.) have vocally supported stopping Biden's certification. That is obscene in a liberal democracy. You cannot compare these issues. Furthermore, actual Republican politicians are supporting the idea of ignoring the popular vote of a state and sending their own electors for next time. It's downright terrifying."

    I'll point out that Sulla and a few decades later Julius Caesar were "lawfully" installed dictators, getting the Senate to install them as such for a specified term. Both accomplished this because they controlled the army, and lawfully, the legions were duty bound to the general that controlled them, and not the republic itself. That is, there could be no "illegal" order given. If a general gave an order, it was a legal order, by construction. So when a general like Sulla or Caesar gives an order to lay siege to Rome until the Senate gives him dictatorial powers, well... it's completely legal.

    They only differed in that Sulla gave back the reigns as he promised to do and took dictatorial powers mostly to break Senate gridlock and get things done to the benefit of all Romans. A benevolent dictator, more or less, that retired after a couple years of issuing reforms. Caesar had no intention to revert his powers back to the Senate, and they ended up killing him over it. Which, rather than causing it to revert to a functioning republic, hastened Rome's transition into a full dictatorship under Augustus.

    TL;DR: claiming that something is technically 'legal' as a defense for their actions while intentionally bypassing democratic norms is not at all a harbinger of good things to come. It's exactly how democracies/republics die and separation of powers gets undercut and consolidated by an executive.

    @Chris L.,

    There's always a good lesson in Roman history!

    And that's exactly my point. Republican leaning states have been putting in partisan, loyalist officials since the last election. In the event the Republican presidential candidate legitimately loses their state in the next election, these state officials will declare there were "irregularities", regardless. Citing their ability to do so in the Constitution (the technically "legal" part), the Republican state legislature will submit their own electors, going against the will of the people. The Republicans in Congress will go along with it. This is how to steal an election. It's their plan to never lose the presidency ever again. They'll either win legitimately (yay we won!) or they will win illegitimately (yay we still won!). If that scenario does become a reality in 2024, goodbye USA (and Star Trek production schedules).

    We can argue why they would go to these lengths, but imo the insane reason given by the murderer of the recent killings in Buffalo shed some light. Republicans are obsessively aware of the changing demographic statistics, where whites will become the minority by 2050 (the Great Replacement Theory, made famous by Tucker Carlson). They believe this future minority majority country will never vote Republican, thereby ensuring national Republican losses forevermore. If you change the dynamic now in your favor, while you still can decades early, you've beaten the future. Yet to beat the future, they are torching the present, which won't even leave a future to be had.

    Their fatal flaw is that they believe democracy is a zero-sum quest for ultimate power, not realizing that completely misses the point of a democracy all together.

    "Their [the Republicans] fatal flaw is that they believe democracy is a zero-sum quest for ultimate power, not realizing that completely misses the point of a democracy all together."

    This is hilarious.

    For three years now, the extreme left has been holding the entire western world by the neck. Any person/group who does not agree with the "official narrative" is demonized, bullied and censored. There's an active collaboration between leftist politicians, the tech giants and the media towards this end.

    And you're seriously accusing the *Republicans* with a lust for absolute power? Seriously?

    Here is your problem:

    The anti-democratic actions I've just mentioned were done repeatedly, openly and publicly. The extreme left has (quite unwisely) shown their hand in the bluntest way possible.

    No decent person, from either side of the political spectrum, is ever going to forget this or the danger to democracy it represents.

    Do you understand this?

    In other news:

    Elon Musk has declared his shift of allegiance from Democrat to Republican yesterday. Just a few hours later, he is suddenly accused of sexual harrasment.

    The alleged incident happened SIX YEARS AGO, yet nobody said anything until the day (literally!) he shifted his political affiliation. What a remarkable coincidence...


    Again, you conflate cultural power with ACTUAL POWER. Yes, liberals won the culture war. It's been over for a couple decades now. And why shouldn't they? Liberal cultural issues are more likely to lean towards more freedom, not more restrictive, given that Americans are more prone to individualism and freedom of expression. Also, cultural issues usually have nothing or very little to do with actual governance. Why do conservatives insist cultural issues be tied to politics?

    In order to counter that loss, however, Republicans have gone all-in on investing in the actual power of government to achieve their objectives. They reshape school boards, local and state legislatures. They redraw electoral maps in their favor. They know how to play the system, knowing they are a minority ruling over a majority. This is their long game - Minority Rule.

    What you've written is mostly unintelligible and conspiracy laden, but I will try to address it. First off, who individually are "the extreme left"? Is this some Illuminati-like organization? What exactly is their "official narrative"? Where is your proof that "leftist politicians" are colluding with the tech giants, especially when leftists like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and AOC want to regulate them more heavily, even proposing breaking them up? How exactly is "media" being defined here?

    And no, I'm not accusing Republicans of a "lust" for absolute power. I'm accusing them of a fear so great, that they are willing to destroy democracy in order to prevent it. What do they fear? I don't really know exactly, other than the traditional/idealized white, suburban Republican that has made up most of American identity over the 20th century and into the 21st will become a much smaller minority. Crudely, who gives a shit?

    And what exactly are you saying is a danger to democracy? That randos on twitter hold people with more power accountable for their shitty takes? Or that Twitter as a private company without any oversight from politicians can censor individuals on their own platform? Regardless of how one defines free speech, the issue of what one is allowed to say on an internet site pales in comparison to Republican attempts to steal an election, whether the last one or the upcoming one, which you keep ignoring and sidestepping. Maybe because you ultimately support it? The libs can't obviously win, right? And implement their evil schemes (like 2 year free community college, green energy investment, and expanded Medicare)? The ends justify the means and all that, certainly??

    Your Elon Musk correlation is also completely backwards. Of course he already knew that accusation was coming out. Journalistic practice is to get his comment on it well before it's published. He made that announcement to trick the gullible as if it was a hit job. I guess it worked!

    lol - without California, Dem's would be the minority every time. And they needed postal vote nonsense to help win last time. It's very telling how much they kick up a fuss about voter ID as well.

    Anyone with a brain can see that the left are a vicious anti-democratic movement. They are authoritarian left - not libertarians at all. The Musk thing shows it all too well. Having another of their pathetic purple-haired meltdowns because they fear they won't be able to bully and censor people on Twitter anymore. Diddums MUH feelings!!! Then surprise surprise - sex allegations against Musk. The left are dangerous, warped, and deranged.

    And they are going to lose in the long term. Their ridiculous pandering to "non binary" and transgenderism has already lost them votes from women - even feminists like Rowling have had enough of this freak train.

    Shove your progressive agenda up your ass, you weirdos.


    Hilarious stuff mate. For your next bit you should go outside and hang out with a friend at least once this year.

    Aw wells, at least they won't be whining on an empty stomach.

    I also found the recent Musk controversy to be pretty funny. His first response was not to deny the allegations but to say that it's just a standard political play. I'm curious on what page of the Standard Despicable Playbook does it recommend conjuring horses in one's allegations against billionaires.

    I want to mention that comrade Elon, lover of workers, threatened workers in 2018 that if they unionize they would lose their stock options (a judge ruled his comments to be illegal worker intimidation) and union organizers were fired (which was also undone by the courts), that's the main reason he has shifted more and more of his operations to republican states which are anti union.

    And let's not forget that he was born into a very rich white family in apartheid south Africa (his father owned a gemstone mine). That father he called"a terrible human being... Almost every evil thing you could possibly think of, he has done." Still in 1995 Musk got the money for his first company from his father. Nice. That proves again to all the losers out there, that determination is only thing you need to succeed in life and lots of family capital.

    So the story that the richest man in the world was such a lefty, but now has no other option than to join the freedom loving republicans, seems a little shaky. Those republicans on Thursday banned all abortions in Oklahoma. Soon Musk will certainly support Trump, a man who was accused by dozens of women of sexual assault and who bragged on tape about sexually assaulting women.

    Again I yell into the clouds, what does Twitter, Twitter-users, Elon Musk, people who identify as non-binary, etc. have anything at all to do with the Democrat legislative platform? Nothing is the answer, yet too many conservative leaning citizens with AM radio brain seem to always get confused by hucksters.

    What exactly do you think the "progressive agenda" even is? What exactly in here do you take issue with? What is so radical?

    "lol - without California" - you do realize California is part of the USA, right? Not some honorary member? And if we're hypothetically pretending Californians are some weird exception, how about we throw out Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and the purple haired too while we're at it? That's what you all really think, right? Californians and ethnic minorities shouldn't really have a vote, at least that doesn't count as much as real Americans, right? Those "legacy" Americans? You know the ones.

    This is a dangerous way of thinking in a democracy. It's not worth it to go down that road.

    I'm making the obvious statement that that one state yields way too much political power in elections. then people like you mention the popular vote and we all die laughing. Democrats are held together in a lot of elections by that one dopy state.

    So far as I can tell, this series is exactly what we were all dreading and expecting Discovery to be when we first found out Alex Kurtzan was show runner, i.e, More J.J. Abrams style Star Trek. Only it, and the subsequent series have all been so singularily awful, atonal and slipshod that now this show can come along and hop over the dirt level lowered bar of expectations and seem "okay," even though it's just more of the same crap Trek fans complained about in '09, '13 & '16. I'm still waiting to see what *I* valued about Trek on screen again, and given it's apparent popularity for managing to NOT be total crap like we've come to expect, I doubt I'll see those things I look for in Star Trek for a long, long time. Probably about as long as it'll take them to make a truely great Terminator 3 film.

    Ignore that guy. He does this stuff for almost a decade, even the right wing guys mostly don't interact with him.

    Here from one of his very first posts on this board.
    "I like Star Trek for a bit of mild entertainment, but it simply isn't to B5s quality. The writing is too childish and illogical. "
    Still, he comes back year after year. Complaining all the time. He's just that certain kind of man who gets off on being disliked.


    Speaking of "dangerous way of thinking in a democracy" -- what do you think of the Biden administration's proposed disinformation board led by Nina Jankowicz a staunch democrat?

    Seems rather authoritarian to me. And thankfully it has been put on hold as Jankowicz resigned.

    Trek has had its share of episodes where counteracting such a restriction on thinking is one of its premises...

    @Booming "And let's not forget that he was born into a very rich white family in apartheid south Africa (his father owned a gemstone mine)."

    He denies this story. Which appeared in Business Insider.
    Father (Errol) is said to have purchased a part interest in an emerald mine located in Zambia in the mid-1980's from an Italian to whom he sold a plane. The family had access to emeralds for about 6 years. So much for the story. I have found that it really can't be independently confirmed using my internet skills.

    Along the way I found the following: there is an emerald mining zone called Kagem in the Kafubu river region of Zambia at which operations began in 1985. There are six Kagem mines. By the early 1990's the Zambian government had more or less nationalized its mineral extraction industry. Partnership interests would have gotten sticky to deal with at that point. So who knows?


    You've interestingly stumbled upon the paradox of democracy. A functioning democracy relies on a well informed citizenry with access to political reality. A functioning democracy also relies on freedom of speech, the kind where the government cannot (with very few exceptions) regulate or even weigh in on speech. How are those reconciled?

    Do Americans have the right to mislead? When it comes to an exchange of goods or services, no. That is well established. What about when no money or trade is exchanged? Constitutionally, you probably have the right to politically mislead. That's plain to see on tv ads during every election cycle.

    What about knowingly lie? It has been established when it comes to a lie that does material harm to another, then no, you cannot (libel, slander, "cry fire in a crowded theater", etc.). You also cannot lie to a federal investigator. But what about just plain politically lying for its own sake? Like say, you won an election, when in reality, you didn't? Arguably, that is also protected under current laws.

    What about foreigners lying and misleading for their own country's political purposes? That is arguably not protected. I would support in a singularly limited way some kind of "disinformation board" for regulation and removal of foreign maintained trolls and bots on American tech sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Tik Tok, however, is Chinese, so is probably beyond our regulation other than outright banning it. Unfortunately, it currently seems to be the most influential one, as it already won an election for the Chinese backed candidate in the Philippines (who is certainly no man of the people). Also I would think it is appropriate to look into whether certain US media personalities receive any income from foreign sources and regulate foreign investment in news/media overall. Is it a political bomb? Probably.

    Ultimately, regardless of education and shared information, democracy is dependent that a majority of the voting eligible citizenry plainly having a good bull shit detector. I tend to think we do in the long run, even if about a third of the populace do not.

    I wrote a review on imdb about the reckless mess ST has become, then realized

    There is no one guiding the ship.

    There's no thought of wokeness or inclusiveness or any variation between.

    There's no Roddenberry, B&B, Moore, etc.

    We might as well expect 7-11 to produce a quality Trek.

    Don't attribute to malice, etc etc.

    To hell with it.

    Give it to MacFarlane.

    Give it to Star Trek Continues.

    Open source it.

    Who Cares?

    Adding to that, the whole notion that now the Biden administration is using propaganda *gasp* only highlights that some people don't know anything about the US government. The department of defense which amusingly never defended the USA but only attacked other countries (it was renamed in 1947 from department of war) spends more than half a billion every year on propaganda and employs several thousand PR-people.

    "Ultimately, regardless of education and shared information, democracy is dependent that a majority of the voting eligible citizenry plainly having a good bull shit detector. I tend to think we do in the long run, even if about a third of the populace do not."
    Sadly, that is not how it looks. Your view and really that of most people is what is called the folk theory of democracy which is the dominant theory. This theory boils down to "the citizens know what they want and choose the candidates/option in a referendum they prefer." So essentially a rational choice theory. The mathematical model for this is called the spatial model of voting. BUT to give a simple example. If there are lots of tornados in a region shortly before an election then the people in power will be punished for that. That is obviously not rational.

    There are often significant majorities (normally above 70%) for several economic desires like higher taxes on the rich but it is the damnedest thing. No party in the USA ever wants that. That falls more in line with the elite theory of democracy. Studies have shown that the interests of economic elites are reflected in policy, on the other hand the economic wishes of the average voter has zero influence on actual policy.
    Here a study about that:

    and here a short review of a pee reviewed book I want to recommend to anybody who wants to understand the difference between how we perceive democracy and how it really is.

    Have fun. :)

    The gemstone mine thing is just amusing, the important point is that his family was definitely very rich in beautiful apartheid South-Africa. Musk loves to tell the story how he had not enough money for an apartment while growing his first company but one should not forget that he, as I mentioned, got the money for his first company from his father and always knew that if his business would fail then his rich family would keep him afloat. In other words he was born into extreme privilege and has absolutely no understanding of how most people live. That guy might have been a little left of the center culturally but certainly not economically.


    Clearly Dad already owned a plane, but didn't need it for his livelihood and sold it for cash. He didn't need to hold on to the cash to put food on the family table and as soon as he had it, he traded the cash for a speculative interest in a mine. The anecdote suggests that to Dad it was more important that the incident become an interesting story to tell at the club in Praetoria. The emeralds are virtually an afterthought, just another day with someone else's child sweating in the mines. Dad loved telling stories.....Dear old Dad. :)

    I'm confused - which party is the anti-democratic spawn of Satan? It's hard to tell here.

    Let's bring things back to cold reality. Both parties have a poor track record in the 21st century. Chronic borrowing and monetization, non-existent oversight and prosecution of corporate and Wall Street malfeasance, erosion of privacy rights, privatization of prisons (got to love contractors managing the parole system), dysfunctional immigration system, failing to prevent (or even manage) 20 million + outsourced jobs, looking the other way while China steals trillions of our IP, not giving a fuck about sweatshops or child labor, and an overall attitude of fear mongering, hyper-divisiveness, and a cargoship-sized pile of rhetorical excrement.

    And the Chernobyl cherry on the top: a sociopath followed by an invalid as our last two presidents.

    News flash to all of you - both parties fucking suck.

    Booming - "The department of defense which amusingly never defended the USA but only attacked other countries (it was renamed in 1947 from department of war) spends more than half a billion every year on propaganda and employs several thousand PR-people."

    It spends a helluva lot more than that. The monies, though, pushed through other appropriations bills including a bunch of black ops shit that is not line-item iterated. IC spending is notoriously vague. In 2006 in Iraq, for example, psy-ops for Baghdad alonecexceeded $1B annually. Why you might ask? Because when you promise X to the Iraqis but end up giving them Y, well you need a lot of money to convince them that Y = X

    If you add up everything then the US is spending around 1,2 trillion $ per year on national defense. Oh I just looked it up. It's now well above 1.3 trillion. Well, the hassle of maintaining a global empire...
    What is 1 billion or even 10 billion in that context. Spare change. :)

    I see the political cynics/nihilists have now joined us. Booming is right; the data shows that the irrational median voter often votes against the party in power as a referendum when negative events occur outside the control of the government, especially economically. This will indefinitely keep us in a status-quo cycle, where the only thing government can actually do is wage wars. This is only in the interest of the elites, needing a military to protect the wealth they have amassed.

    The problem is that this way of voting causes a constant flip flopping of power, never truly allowing a progressive party to enact positive change for the average citizen. US government is notoriously difficult to enact change. One platform needs control of the House of Representatives, 2/3 of the Senate, and the Presidency. The last time Democrats had a supermajority such as this was the first 2 years of President Obama's term (well over a decade ago), which allowed the Affordable Care Act to be passed. This was obvious benefit to the average citizen, but Republicans went on a crusade of such fear mongering, it tainted the program for almost a decade. Only now does the average citizen realize it was in their interest, which the Republican politicians must now concede, lest they anger their base, much in the same way Medicare and Social Security are untouchable by Republicans (even though the desperately want them gone).

    Because of the perpetual cycle of the uninformed voting against one's self interest, big business capitalizes on it, with the ability to throw as much money as required to influence the politicians in power who don't care about change. Businesses don't get to vote, only to influence. Individual citizens still retain the power to elect politicians. Yet they have continually put people in power who care about business and industry over the concerns and needs of citizens.

    The only solution is for citizens to get wise to who's screwing them and who isn't, and then vote for who will help. There's ultimately more average citizens than elite. Yet that seems extraordinarily difficult in this era of disinformation, conspiracy theories, religious conmen, and political malaise. What message does one need to break through? How would Picard (of old) pitch it?

    Bucktown said: "The last time Democrats had a supermajority such as this was the first 2 years of President Obama's term..."

    It's worth remembering that even this is a myth. Things are rigged such that the stuff Republicans exist for - cutting corporation tax etc - tend to require only a simple majority. Meanwhile, the Dems need a majority of 60+ votes to pass their big stuff.

    Obama is said to have had a super-majority in his first two years, but the Republicans contested Al Franken's election and kept him out of his seat for over 7 months. Meanwhile senator Ted Kennedy was battling a brain tumor and eventually died, and Democratic senator Robert Byrd was being hospitalized. In total Obama had only about 3 weeks where he could theoretically get 60+ votes on a bill.

    Add the fact that a large number of Democrat senators/congressmen aren't really left leaning or even liberal, and you're talking the need for massive, massive majorities to get things passed. Nowadays you'd probably need a 70ish majority just to avoid the inevitable "double cross" senators that the hyper-wealthy bankroll and wait to trigger.


    Yes, you're absolutely correct. I was merely summarizing, but the nitty gritty shows that the Democrats' supermajority was very brief and flimsy. In fact, much like Joe Manchin now, Joe Lieberman was the lone holdout that prevented a single option on healthcare. The only compromise available for the Democrats was "Romneycare", a Nixonian inspired Republican program first enacted by Gov Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, now universally known as Obamacare.

    So even then, there was no true progressive supermajority. The last time was arguably 1977-79, but for whatever reason, they did not seem to pass any legislation that wasn't already bipartisan with Republicans (certainly before my time). The last time Democrats seemed to take advantage of their true supermajority was 1967-69 with the expanded Civil Rights Act of 1968. Just wild that it's been only 6 years out of over 50 where anything progressive could even be possible. No wonder most Americans have lost trust in government.

    Many Americans believe that because Democrats have a simple majority in both chambers of Congress, they should have accomplished something by now, not realizing a supermajority is required (even moreso to counter Joe Manchin and Kristen Synema's moderation). So Democrats would in essence need at least 62 Democrats in the Senate, a chamber that already gives more unbalanced power to rural, more conservative states. Wyoming with not even 600,000 people has 2 senators, while California with almost 40 million people, also have 2 senators. (Not the most representative democracy, are we.)

    In essence, with the current American system, it seems nigh impossible to enact progressive legislation designed to help the vast majority of the population, rather than corporate executives, business owners and stock holders. But for some reason, even though the vast amount of Americans are in the same boat (79% of poor, working class, and middle class), and only 21% of Americans are in upper middle class and upper class, they tend to vote for politicians whose only goal is to help maintain and grow the wealth of the 21%.

    Why is that? How were Republicans able to convince poor, white Louisianians that they were acting in their interest and make it part of their very core identity? If you were somehow able to reverse that, I don't think the Republican party would even be a thing anymore.

    Bucktown - "This [ACA] was obvious benefit to the average citizen, but Republicans went on a crusade of such fear mongering, it tainted the program for almost a decade."

    That's a pretty disingenuous statement. Overall, the ACA has driven premiums up, in some situations nearly double the 2013 pre-ACA level. With the phase out of certain subsidies, many Americans are now feeling an even greater pinch. Yes, there is a marketplace now so consumers have a better apples-to-apples comparison of plans. But, honestly, shopping for insurance before wasn't that difficult. And, no offense, but having 1-2 carriers tops in many states is artificial monopoly bullshit.

    Obviously when you guarantee a minimal level of health insurance to those 5-6 million Americans who could not afford it before, someone must bear the cost. That "someone" is everyone else who can afford it. Through higher premiums, subsidies paid out of public funds and coverage for younger people who might not otherwise purchase insurance.

    Obama also attempted to fine anyone not purchasing health insurance, a very un-American thing to do. He claimed it wasn't a tax which was ironic as hell since Robert's saved the mandate by essentially arguing it was.

    Obamacare is 12 million words of dense, often conflicting regulation, the bulk of which few if anyone understands. Hell, the fucking statutory text wasn't even read before it was passed (thank you Ms. Pelosi), raising real "presentment" issues.

    Look, there is a good idea at the heart of Obama's effort to help the poor obtain affordable medicine. But like so many things, the actual law is an unholy mess desparate in need of significant reform.

    So, no, it's not a net "good thing" for most of us.

    Bucktown, you also need to stop conflating progressivism with Democratic voting. The party that held that ideology died a long time ago. Now you have globalist fuckers supportive of big business, trade and Wall Street with a dash of Marxists and anarcho-Marxists hell bent on wrecking capitalism itself.


    I appreciate your response. But first off, I must clarify a few points. As I mentioned above, Obamacare/ACA was never meant to be the "ideal" legislation to pass to fix healthcare in America. It was a necessary compromise in order to pass SOMETHING. But that underlines my entire point. If not for Joe Lieberman, we would have single payer, universal healthcare. The votes were there. It's not that progressive Democrats are needed. No one would call Diane Feinstein a progressive. It's just not having any pro-corporate Democrats, which makes it even harder to reach that "supermajority".

    Second, the mandate was developed to keep the prices low. It's a simple equation. The more people buy in, the costs get spread around, keeping prices lower. With individuals able to opt-out, that premise falls apart. The people who need it and plan to use it then buy it, limiting the pool to mostly sick people, which raises prices. Republicans repealed the mandate (the most unpopular provision), which was the only way they were able to tamper with it. Blame them.

    You can also argue whether the mandate lives up to the ethos of Americanism, but in reality, as you stated, it was ruled "American" by the very fact the Supreme Court agreed that it was constitutionally allowable.

    Regardless of the actual plan purchased/mandate, the regulation of the insurance companies is what was most important in the bill. Not being able to discriminate against pre-existing conditions was a radical game changer, and has likely saved multiple thousands of lives in the decade and a half since. That alone was worth it.


    I also think your cynicism is unfounded. With merely 2 more (regular) Democrat senators right now in this very moment, they would be able to pass paid family leave, a permanent child tax credit, universal pre-school, expanded disability payments, clean energy tax credits, clean energy investments, prescription drugs caps, raising of the Medicaid limit, 2 years free community college, and codification of Roe v Wade.

    With a clear supermajority, you'd probably get universal single payer healthcare as well. The problem is that the average voter in certain states (south, midwest, rust belt) doesn't understand any of this. They don't get that we'd get all of that if only they'd vote D on the ballot. But they have somehow been lead to believe Democrats are Communists, eat babies, are pedophiles, want to turn your kid trans, want to take your guns, want to regulate your speech, etc.. Or they just simply believe Democrats are ineffectual, or worse, paid off, as you seem to be resigned to believe. I hope you can change your mind and help work towards a better future for the majority of us.

    Just reading a study. Strong republican supporters are almost five times as likely to share fake news as strong democratic supporters and the motivating factor for this is not positive feelings for republican ideas but strong dislike for democrats as a group. The dislike for the other side is also far stronger (more than three times). Psychologists have identified two main drivers when people seek information. Accuracy oriented and goal oriented (This has a strong relation to confirmation bias). The more partisan you are, the more you are goal oriented. Another interesting finding. Cynics are more likely to share fake news as are old people. On the positive side cynics don't care if it is anti democratic or anti republican fake news. So they are fair. :)
    Oh and Trolls surprisingly rarely share fake news.

    Bucktown - my cynicism is unfounded? What planet have you been on the last 20 years? None of your points even remotely addresses the big ticket problems that I described. Some handouts, tax credits, etc isn't going to do much. As for single payer, yeah let's allow a corrupt, dysfunctional, debt ridden entity to co-opt a huge part of the health care system. Just no. Eliminate HMOs, allow people to buy out of state health insurance, reform the patent system, expand Medicare for catastrophic medical needs, regardless of age. I'm even in favor of a modest tax to help the poor with their medical needs.

    Honestly, it's you that needs to join the real world. The Democratic party is corrupt to its bones. Things won't change with a supermajority which, incidentally, is not having this election cycle. Biden is utterly lost right now and the economy is a mess. The GOP is going to torch the Dems in November

    Not sure what points you're making with the ACA. If you have a preexisting condition, you are by definition a greater risk. It's not discrimination; it's bad business to cover such people. It's purely a numbers thing. The govt is forcing the carriers to cover these people which is creating distortions in the market. If you have a condition and then demand coverage, it's no longer insurance. It's a subsidy. And we're all paying for it. I'm fine with some Medicare / Medicaid safety net for those who can't afford large dollar procedures, hospital stays, etc. I'm not a fan of govt taking over the insurance market.

    As for the mandate, it was unpopular enough that Obama lied through his teeth about it. It was a tax. It would raise premiums. It was govt overreach - punishing people for not going along with Uncle Sam's edicts. The Court didn't rule it "American." The Court said it had a constitutional basis. AS A TAX. The very thing Obama said it wasn't.

    In Germany the state controls health care and we pay less than half of what Americans pay. The thing is the "health care market" is as much a market as the job market, meaning companies have almost all the power, while the consumer has very little and if you are poor you have none. That isn't even really going into how companies corrupt doctors. Pharma and Insurance are ripping the USA off?

    " If you have a preexisting condition, you are by definition a greater risk. It's not discrimination; it's bad business to cover such people. It's purely a numbers thing. "
    Yikes, only in America... especially considering that for example single mothers have the highest poverty risk. Sorry mum that you have cancer, you have to die a gruesome death now. Should have thought about that before you got poor.

    " I'm even in favor of a modest tax to help the poor with their medical needs."
    The issue in America is that pharma can demand almost any price they want (among many other things). The USA is the only country in the Western world where life expectancy has stagnated over the last 10 years and it was already several years lower
    Here three western countries life expectancy where the state controls the health care system compared to the USA.
    In Canada 82,8 ; France 82,9 ; Germany 81,7 and USA it's 79.

    Here the healthcare system of Japan where life expectancy is 84,9 years

    Japan spends 10,8% of it's GDP on healthcare while the USA spend 19,7%.

    Ah yes, the country where access to health care isn't a basic human right born out of a sense of fundamental decency and moral imperative, but a privilege one has to pay for.

    And pay far more than in any other developed country for worse outcomes.

    Market can please leave the building thank you.

    The free market works great for things like consumer electronics, not so much for health insurance where where the best way to make money is to not cover procedures or to charge an exorbitant amount that drives people into bankruptcy for the crime of getting sick.

    The ACA was the worst of both worlds as it sought to subsidize a broken system. The only solution proven to work anywhere in the world is government controlled healthcare (no insurance), with private care available out of pocket.

    Tying things back Trek, it’s plainly obvious that all medical needs are provided by the government so that people are free to reach their highest potential without fear of dying penniless of a preventable degree. Of course if you want to get plastic surgery to look like a Klingon, or if you had a mysterious space disease, you would need to pursue that on your own time and dime (however you prefer to define that).

    Getting a good chuckle out of a courtroom drama episode of TNG where Picard is vigorously making the case that a single mother doesn’t deserve free healthcare because she was born with a pre existing condition. Or that she has to fill out a million complex forms and pass means testing to get on future medicaid.

    You're all missing the point. Govt driven health care might work here, but not with the present govt apparatus we have. Comparing Germany's govt to our own makes for good humor. As Zizek said, we need to get our own house in order first.

    As for preexisting conditions, you're again missing it. My point is that insurance companies are not "discriminating" when denying or overcharging coverage for preexisting conditions. Why? Because insurance functions on actuarial tables. How is it remotely fair to force them to cover someone already sick or highly likely to get sick. Booming, I sympathize with the cancer-ridden mom. But, think it through rationally -- giving her coverage AFTER a diagnosis is not "insuring" -- betting against a future outcome. It's state sponsored, compulsory "losses" for the company.

    Which is why I favor

    -- Medicare for catastrophic needs. The cancer patient pays some of the ancillary costs, but treatment, hospital stay, hospice is covered

    -- a discrete tax levied, like we do already with Medicare, to properly fund a catastrophic pool and to help with the indigent

    -- Removal of barriers to insurance markets -- I should be able to buy insurance anywhere with any level of coverage. Fuck the ACA. It's creating artificial monopolies and driving cost up.

    You know, if Germany, Japan and a few others wouldn't mind returning all that financial aid, costs saved because the U.S. military was basically your armed forces for decades, and so forth, it might help us out. :)

    The altruism of US military presence the world over!

    Next thing to discuss: How having US dollar as world reserve currency is solely for world's benefit. And what should the world do to repay that selfless favor?

    Paul M, I sympathize. However, there is a tradeoff no one is discussing. The U.S. has lower life expectancy, lower % with access to care, and higher mortality rates across the board. This is partly because our system isn't fully accessible, especially to the poor. But it's also because, with respect to mortality, we are a fat, red meat consuming culture that is less poor at preventative maintenance.

    The flipside is that if you can afford quality care, it's the best in the world. Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, etc have thousands of foreign visitors. Tens of thousands from Canada come here annually for our care. Same with Europe. Money talks people. Those with money come for the best. The market allows for greater incentives to drive more cutting edge research and applied medicines. My cousin helps oversee one of the Knight campuses in Eugene. Phil Knight is a heartless bastard when it comes to the shoe industry. But he's given a truckload to Oregon knowing it incubates a ton of tech that, in turn, reaches our hospitals, out patient clinics etc. much faster than anywhere else. Foreign investors know this which is why the fundraising is so diverse.

    There's probably a way to ensure universal coverage in this country for basic health care needs, including the catastrophic issues I mentioned. But we also must be cognizant of the benefits of certain, market-based aspects of the medical and bioengineering fields. A full govt takeover can and will have a variety of unintended consequences.

    Not altruism Paul. Necessity, especially during the Cold War and especially with regard to Europe and Japan. But oh sure, let's just let Germany post Hitler and Japan with Hirohito rearm themselves. Or, let's prevent them but not defend them with our troops and let the Soviets conquer them. Or make a giant mess of Europe.

    Yes, the U.S. got something - greater control, a larger military industrial complex, a coalition embracing the dollar as global currency. But the world got something as well. A big middle finger to communism. To the worst brand of totalitarian, genocidal, individuality stripping systems imaginable.

    The irony is that the post Cold War era has been the worst for us. I'm pretty embarrassed for our foreign policy the last 20 years and we're spending on military like drunken sailors. Less of a need but more of everything. It's a big problem for us.

    "The flipside is that if you can afford quality care, it's the best in the world. Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, etc have thousands of foreign visitors. Tens of thousands from Canada come here annually for our care. Same with Europe. Money talks people. Those with money come for the best."

    It's more like when you have universal healthcare, it creates supply and demand problems. Setting the price to zero increases demand which can outstrip supply, especially when medical professionals seek higher pay elsewhere. The average person that seeks medical care outside a country where they don't have to pay for it is not doing so because they're super rich, or because they don't have confidence in the quality of the medicine. They're doing it because they don't want to be put on a two-year wait list. If their medical condition is serious enough, they have little choice but to look to the USA or other countries where there there are no major wait times. Of course, those vacant Americans hospitals with short wait times should probably be filled with all those impoverished Americans in need of medical care instead of comparatively affluent people from other countries.

    For more elective surgeries, I have no doubt that the medical supply market in USA has created a boon of cool gizmos and various options for how to solve those less urgent medical problems in private clinics, many of which are more efficient than the standard way of doing things in hospitals. Private clinics do exist in countries with universal healthcare though so there's no real need to travel to the USA for these non-life threatening interventions. They can even buy those cool gizmos that were developed in the USA to use in Canada so no problem there either.

    ""The flipside is that if you can afford quality care, it's the best in the world. Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, etc have thousands of foreign visitors. Tens of thousands from Canada come here annually for our care. Same with Europe. Money talks people. Those with money come for the best.""

    My admittedly anecdotal experience as a Canadian with several close relatives and friends in the USA is that if you have a decent income in the six figures or a little lower, you are far better off in the USA. If you are living in a red state with low taxes it isn't even a competition- you will get waaaaay better quality of care for far less in the USA.

    But this presupposes a certain income threshold. If I am earning 20k as a busboy without benefits no question Canada's single payer system is better.

    @Jason R.

    I make 6 figures in a US state with low taxes (Colorado) and my employer insurance is dogshit. I have to pay almost everything out of pocket. Same goes for my partner who doesn’t even use her insurance because it’s less expensive to pay out of pocket (and typically spends thousands of dollars). She doesn’t even have dental or optical insurance.

    There’s also the wonderfully bent system of “in network” and “out of network”. It’s basically impossible to tell which providers are in or out, but if you make the wrong decision you get to spend thousands more.

    And it’s not like it’s “better” to be on the low income free insurance due to the dehumanizing paperwork and means testing.

    I would cap the lucky ones at those who make seven figures. That’s who the US is really designed to benefit.

    Bryan, people go to Mayo and CC for a lot more than elective surgery. They go there to figure out why their sick in the first place and the best way to deal with it. For all those conditions not easily diagnosable. If you have money, you go there.

    As for "gizmos," if you mean valve replacements, ACL scaffolds, 3D printable skin grafts, cutting edge joint replacements, prime editing, machine learnable surgical techniques, porous osteointegration matrices, and about a million other things to promote early disease detection, eliminate chronic health issues, promote non invasive recovery techniques, and push the limits of medicine across the board, then yes...

    America specializes in gizmos.

    Yes IIsat, America has military bases in Europe because they are so nice and European hospitals are shacks filled with half-drunk sawbones. :)
    Careful, do not believe the lies the US tells itself.

    In Germany you get pretty good care and there are rarely any waiting times and there are top of the line hospitals here. Maybe in rural areas it can take a while, I don't know. If one wants more than you have to pay for that. Medication is also very cheap. What is more important for most people? A good doctor and cheap medicine or a marble filled hospital?
    In the index of healthcare innovations Germany is third. The USA is sixth.

    The Charité which is only a few km away is one of the best in the world. Newsweek placed it sixth in the world and that's a ranking by a US news magazine so probably fair and balanced towards the USA. ;)

    Six figure is around 12% of the US population and individual median income in the US is around 35.000$. What is better, a good system for 100% or a great system for 12%?

    Ilsat, I wasn't saying that Mayo is only for elective surgery. I was saying that if people are going to the USA for mandatory treatment, it's often goes beyond ensuring quality medical care. Though I don't deny that some really rich people do indeed have that "only the best" mentality. I just don't think "at least the wealthy are satisfied" is the measuring stick we should be using when there are far more pressing concerns, like making sure the more typical average citizens have their basic medical needs met...

    The part about elective surgery was referring to your second point about...yes, all those innovative gizmos that mostly end up in select private clinics that tend to specialize in this or that particular elective treatment.

    Booming, I love me some German efficiency. I'd probably take your health system over ours in most instances. Stable, subsidized, available to a higher percentage of the population. But that's not in the cards for us right now.

    As for our military, you love us. We bring peace and charity everywhere we go. And Star Wars. And Top Gun. Our wars are epic -- available only to stars hotrodding through the stars. Yours are mean and messy. If you won WW 2, Starship Troopers would be Star Wars. Think that shit through for a minute. Fuck Casper Van Dien.

    Rather than get bogged down in the weeds, as the conversation seems to be going, the whole point I'm trying to make is "how can we effectuate positive, progressive change that helps the majority of the citizens?"

    Ilsat seems to illogically looking at past performance of Democrats and a false correlation between a Democratic majority vs. inaction. We have shown that Democrats in power WANT change. Have you seen the bills they have not only proposed, but passed in the House, such as Build Back Better bill? The only way in the US system, however, they can effectuate change is through a supermajority, which is extremely rare, especially given how the Senate operates as well as how the Senate gives outsized power to less populated, rural states over vastly populated urban ones. The answer isn't throwing your hands up and calling Democrats "corrupt" without any proof whatsoever. The answer is voting them in to such a degree they can make the change needed to overhaul the system!

    But go on, blame Democrats for all the ills of society. That's exactly Republican talking points. The Republicans always win because the status quo for them is still winning. Getting power for them is just icing on the cake, in which rollbacks of social security, medicare are likely as is a national restriction on abortion. And let's further lower the taxes for those great rich guys too! They'll certainly help us.

    So I ask, if you are resigned to cynical fatalism anyway, why not just vote Democrat and see what happens? Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised? I would agree with you that if Democrats actually had the opportunity of a filibuster proof majority of progressive leaning D's, and they still squandered it, then sure, I'd say it's likely hopeless. BUT the history shows us that's not likely the case. When Democrats in the past have had that power, we got multiple Civil Rights Acts, the Voting Rights Act, and were 1 vote shy of single payer healthcare, which gave us at least the ACA (which no major Democrat, not even Obama, wanted or said was perfect. It was a compromise!).

    As to the specifics of healthcare, it sounds like you're reticent to accept single payer, even though ALL other developed countries have it to some extent or another, because you FEEL like it would personally limit your quality of care. You have absolutely no proof of this, and as Booming showed, is not true in these other countries such as Germany.

    You also may FEEL that it is not ultimately fair. Why should your hard working tax dollars go to subsidize some dead beat who smokes? It's missing the forest from the trees. Once ALL are in the system, costs are proven to go down. Once the profit motive of insurance companies are removed, costs go down. The cost goes down for everyone, including you! So even if you're a selfish individualist, it's still in your best interest (as long as you're not a stockholder or executive of a medical insurance corporation).

    The one thing you say rooted in data is that at least in the US, there is a nursing shortage. This can be easily solved by the same healthcare bill subsidizing nursing school tuition costs and high level minimum wages for nurses ($50/hr), along with fast tracking trained immigrants who want to work in this field. These are all solvable problems that NO Republican wants to solve!

    Bucktown, juat stop. You're embarrassing yourself. Both Dems and the GOP are responsible, along with corporate America, for about two dozen structural changes to American in the last 25 years. I've laid these out nice and easy for you. If you want to do a deep dive of, say, chronic debt, the expiration of the BEA and statutory PAYGO, the absence of budget planning,, fucked up FED policy and the consequent erosion to our functioning democracy we certainly can.
    But don't for a minute think your small minded policies will put a dent in this. And that's just one of many issues.

    And, for the record, 'm not a Republican. Only someone willfully ignoring what I'm saying and wallowing in their own bullshit would believe I am. Ultomately, I'm not deluded to the point of thinking a Dem supermajority is going to fix much.

    You call me illogical for pointing out a track record of past failures as indicia that more of the same will probably happen. Instead, under your theory, we should ignore the clear record and instead engage in Polyannish predictions bereft of facts. Genius.

    I'm sorry, but cynicism, fatalism, political nihilism is what's embarrassing. Might as well just live in an authoritarian theocracy then as far as you're concerned then? You would think a Trek fan on this site and board would have at least strive for some kind of better society.

    Barring specifics, I also don't have a clear picture of what you consider "past failures". Past identification in a political party is no guarantee for its future. Mitt Romney and his classic Republicanism, for example, represented the majority of Republican held positions in 2012. Merely 4 years later and into today, Trumpism, isolationism, authoritarianism, anti-immigration, anti-freedom/choice, and just plain hatred of "liberals" is what represents Republicans and the majority of its voters. You are linking an illogical through line of policies merely based on what word, whether Republican or Democrat, is being associated by the politician of today, rather than looking at the specific policy goals of today's parties. That is the logical thing to do. The parties are constantly evolving, as new members make up its ranks.

    And no, you don't sound like a Republican, nor did I believe you to be arguing as one. But you do sound like a pocketbook economy expert, without fully understanding the nuances of how the systems interact. High inequality IS what's causing the debt to rise. Fix inequality, the debt naturally corrects itself:

    Also, every "small minded policy" I mentioned will help someone dramatically. Likely even save lives. That alone is worth any effort.

    I then turn it back to you. In your estimation, what does the government need to do to fix what you think is fundamentally wrong with it? What are your step by step solutions to get there? Second, what party is more likely to implement those solutions?

    If the "writers" wanted to be more "realistic" , why didn't they put in Antifa burning cars and buildings, and terrorizing people for years now, and beating up people, and the violent BLM riots? And don't forget, just show downtown Seattle now and that would the real insurrections. I have watched all the Star Trek shows and the new ones are so preachy. Discovery is the worst. I liked the first season. Picard is okay. This one has a cool look and I like the cast. Hopefully the woke writers will be able to restrain themselves and stick more to the science fiction side.

    Let's also add to the list, given the news of the day, that Democrats would like to pan gun regulation as well, and are only blocked from doing so from Republicans in power, even though 90% of the citizenry supports it.

    Not sure if anyone will see this but I thought I would try...

    What episodes of TNG are referenced in this clip?


    Looks like "Who Watches the Watchers" at the beginning and end, and then "Homeward" in the middle part.

    For what it's worth, I think Homeward is a terrible interpretation of the prime directive.

    So not everything TNG is worth celebrating imo (although still the best!).


    THaNX for the reply!


    I went back to Google and typed in the dialogue and tweaked the description of the holodeck opening on a corridor and was shown a Reddit thread that gave me the answer as well as a nice consolidation of those types of episodes...


    I'm late to this thread, and lurk here for the Star Trek review, not the political discussion, for which there are better places online.

    But I, too, am a political scientist. And for what it's worth, I think that you've clearly crossed from doing political science research -- which should focus on description, analysis, and explanation -- into advocacy for your preferred positions. Granted, you're not the only one.

    @Not Elisabeth Weir
    " not the political discussion, for which there are better places online."
    It tends to happen nonetheless and you certainly know Aristotle's opinion on the matter aka we being zoon politkion. For the most part is stays rather civil and Star Trek is often political/philosophical.

    "But I, too, am a political scientist."
    What's your specialty? For me it's IR and populism.

    "I think that you've clearly crossed from doing political science research -- which should focus on description, analysis, and explanation -- into advocacy for your preferred positions. Granted, you're not the only one."
    I present facts or theories but I'm not writing or trying to write a paper. Furthermore, most people here are not political scientists or sociologists and when I write something I try to not turn this into a seminar. English is also not my first language. In other words: Mistakes happen.
    Could you give me an example what bothered you?


    "What the show did, was present our present day turmoil in a simplistic one-sided way. No hint of the way that BLM burned the entire nation for months. No hint of the way people were persecuted and ostracized for "wrong think". Just the usual depiction of extremists (and from one side only) as the norm."

    putting side the "detail" for a moment that "burning the entire nation" is a...rather special way to put it, what this then comes down to is that you are saying "hey, they pointed their fingers at a group of extremists (you seem to at least agree that those people who shouted to hang the vice president qualified), but did not point their finger at another group of extremists"?

    well, thats just not how storytelling works. if you make a movie and somewhere theres a message of, say, "nazis bad!", thats where you end that moment. you dont then get into tedious details about "but yeah, there were some shady people in the communist party too, and yes, those got jailed, but still, imagine what they *could* have done" and so on.

    youd lose the viewer in that process. you use one example and move on. you just happened to not like the example, but an example of extremists it certainly was.

    and *then* theres the whole thing of how a structurally discriminated demographic and a bunch of priviledged people who refuse to accept an electrion outcome are not really comparable, but im sure you will wholeheartedly disagree there too. thats fine.

    but its still not how storytelling works. and if youre at odds with a traditionally liberal show like star trek taking a side in this "comparison", well...make your own show then. the media landscape is certainly there.

    Not Elizabeth Weir, please tell us where the soothsayer of truth, wisdom and politically shrewd thought reside. Because as far as I'm concerned, those in charge or in the know are fucking this country up in no short order. Where is this venue of wisdom we are so apparently missing?

    @Ilsat - "Where is this venue of wisdom we are so apparently missing?"

    Please see link below:

    I'm especially taken by Socrates's investigation of "experts" in Charmides. If the ideal society is to rule based on logic and have experts execute their respective knowledge in a beneficial capacity, how are those experts chosen? If the body in charge of the society are not experts in the specific field of knowledge, how do they trust the experts to nominate them? For example, if you are not a doctor, how do you know a good doctor vs a bad doctor?

    I think the answer is clearly a healthy trust in the institutions that train experts (accredited, well regarded universities today). Yet, there is currently a breakdown of trust in these very institutions. The entire Republican ethos today is a rejection of experts (i.e. "elites").


    "The entire Republican ethos today is a rejection of experts (i.e. "elites")."

    What a ridiculous statement. I don't know what the background of such a statement is but on its own this statement is complete nonsense. If anything, as an example, I'd point to Democrats trying to silence certain doctors who don't agree and comply with vaccine mandates, mask mandates, lockdowns etc. There is enough science from accredited experts to show that these Democrat policies are more harmful than helpful.


    I thought this was a common held recognition of the increasing anti-intellectualism of the Republican voter? Nevertheless, this article is helpful for understanding my point:


    I've noticed you cite the Washington Post on more than one occasion. Personally, I can't take that publication seriously.

    Regarding your statement, such absolute statements end up coming across as inflammatory. I'd bet there are some Democrats who are highly skeptical of experts/intellectuals as well (like the example I provided). It all comes down to what the expert's stance is -- if it doesn't jive with what the Democrats believe, they'd reject it.

    And if you would like to provide evidence of the "enough science from accredited experts to show...Democrat policies are more harmful than helpful", I'm sure we'd all appreciate it.

    But every scientific consensus I've come across has shown the use of most face coverings to work to limit the spread of the virus, and KN95 and N95 masks proven to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

    I'm also not exactly sure either what your evidence is of Democrats "trying to silence certain doctors" or even what that means.


    You are maybe proving my point. You seem to not trust the institution of the Washington Post, despite not having any evidence to do so. The Washington Post abides by traditional journalistic ethics and standards:

    They also hire journalists from accredited journalism schools, such as highly prestigious Columbia University, itself an institution. You say you "cannot take that publication seriously." Why?

    You also say that "some Democrats..., are highly skeptical of experts/intellectuals as well", yet you have not provided any specific citations. Nevertheless, even if true, and there is a Democrat politician who goes against scientific consensus, it does not necessarily conflate to the entire Democratic platform, unlike most Republican issues, which overall do not conform with scientific, intellectual consensus (i.e. climate change, vaccines, guns, economics, etc.).


    Check out what these doctors are saying and you'll realize Democrat policies don't jive with what they are saying: (you can check them out on Twitter)
    - Vinay Prasad
    - Kulvinder Kaur
    - Robert Malone (I believe he's one of the main MRNA guys).

    and re. The Washington Post -- just one tidbit I remember coming across and shaking my head:
    I prefer my journalism to be unbiased and objective, hence I can't trust WP despite their BS boilerplate.

    Sorry all -- don't mean to be hogging the comment stream (that's really not my style) but just one thing I forgot to mention to @Bucktown

    Doesn't seem to me like the Democrats method of tackling COVID jives with what Sweden did.

    Thank you for providing actual specifics. But I must disagree that it "proves" anything.

    Yes, science and the social sciences require a healthy debate and each claim must stand up to scrutiny, criticism, and replication. Yet having a select few of fellow experts merely disagree about a scientific consensus doesn't disprove it. What evidence have they provided? Has it withstood peer review?

    As to the tweet you cited, it doesn't link the actual article. But from what I've gathered, it is clearly an opinion piece, and clearly a dumb joke within said opinion piece. Opinion pieces do not have to be "unbiased and objective," nor should they reflect upon the newsroom side of the paper.

    This is helpful and should be part of any civics 101 lesson:

    @Rahul, The article you cited is clearly a biased opinion piece that cherry picks select data and makes correlative leaps without evidence.

    Nevertheless, I shall respond to it. Most of the opinion focuses on "mortality rates" in Sweden, rather than cases. This is disingenuous for many reasons. When looking at Sweden, you must factor that it is one of the healthiest populations in the world (#6). Mortality from Covid mainly affects the pre-existing unhealthy. They would naturally have a lesser mortality rate.

    Also, unlike Southern European countries, Swedes don't necessarily live inter-generationally. With the elderly more segregated, they can be protected as a special group (yet Sweden failed at this monumentally very early on). They also have the largest rate of solo living:

    This article does absolutely nothing to disprove that wide use of face coverings prevent the spread of the virus, nor that KN95 and N95 prevent contracting the virus, only that Sweden is a much healthier population who also live a more isolated and segregated existence.


    “The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.” - George Orwell

    Yeah Brownstone was founded last year by an anarcho capitalist. Jeffrey Tucker called himself a traditionalist catholic aka rejecting the reforms of the second vatican council. Jeffrey Tucker was also managing editor of the Sacred Music journal. So completely unshackled capitalism but the rest pretty fundamentalist.

    Here the leading voice for traditionalist Catholics: The Pius brootherhood. Their wikipage has it's own section called: Antisemitism and Holocaust denial. Uh!

    And as Bucktown mentioned you have to compare countries who are similar. North Korea for example had barely any covid death. I guess that means that we should all become stalinists.

    Let's look at the other Scandinavian countries. Sweden had 18977 covid death with a population of 10.3 million, Denmark had 6358 covid death with a population of 5.8 million. Norway had 3141 covid death with a population of 5.3 million. Finland had 4522 covid death with a population of 5.5 million. All the other Scandinavian countries have far better death rates than Sweden. Norway only has a third in comparison. In other word, if Sweden had done what other Scandinavian countries did between 6000 and 12000 Swedes would still be alive. That's not even counting the far higher number of people with long term damage from severe covid and the costs that come with that.

    And the guy who wrote the article apparently has no relevant credentials whatsoever. There is a guy called Ian Miller who was a lifeguard at Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park LLC. The plot thickens...

    Here an article from a professor of molecular biology and immunology

    I also read Rahul's Brownstone article from Ian Miller, professor of zero credentiology. Amusing stuff. It's made for people who want to say that their views are based on science (It has GRAPHS!) but who don't actually want to do any critical thinking.

    "Also, unlike Southern European countries, Swedes don't necessarily live inter-generationally. With the elderly more segregated, they can be protected as a special group (yet Sweden failed at this monumentally very early on). They also have the largest rate of solo living:"

    This fact actually weakens your position since the segregation of the elderly in longterm care homes (versus living with family) was a huge factor in making COVID *worse* not better in pretty much every place, from Quebec to New York to Sweden. So Sweden failed in a particular way that virtually every other place with longterm care homes failed and that fact alone probably accounts for at least some of the discrepancy between Sweden and other Nordic countries in mortality from COVID since I think (correct me if I'm wrong) Sweden had more of these facilities than other Nordic countries. The prevalence of elderly in old age homes was a huge factor in COVID mortality even in countries that followed conventional public health advice by locking down their economies.

    But that said I don't know if a higher prevalence of elderly in longterm care accounts for all of the discrepancy. Probably not.

    But on this subject I recall Sweden's public health leaders eventually admitted that their approach had failed. Of course the situation is complex because blowing up your economy also has costs. Just look at China and how great they are doing. It's almost karmic that the ones who created this virus and let it loose on the world are now breaking their authoritarian teeth in it in a futile attempt to stamp it out. Looks good on those monsters.

    Just to clarify I meant the Chinese government are monsters, not the people. And I note the irony of the country that championed the lockdown approach par excellence is now sinking into an abyss of imprisoning tens of millions of people while the rest of the world reopens. Did I mention karma is a bitch?

    Rahull said: "What a ridiculous statement. I don't know what the background of such a statement is but on its own this statement is complete nonsense..."

    As of 2019, 34% of Republicans accepted evolution compared to 83% of Democrats. The party has always been anti-science- Reagan used to go around touting the health benefits of lead paint, for example.

    "Conservative political belief is linked to fast information processing requiring comparatively little effort, time, or awareness. In support of this idea, experimentally-induced gut-level rather than controlled cerebral processing has in fact been found to enhance conservatism. [...] Conservative political beliefs were augmented [heightened] whenever effortful thought-processing was disrupted–by factors as diverse as alcohol intoxication, cognitive load, and time pressure. Moreover, cognitive ability is inversely correlated with conservative political beliefs. It seems conceivable, then, that emotional and motivational arousal interferes with effortful cognitive processing, and this subsequently enhances the probability of adopting conservative beliefs. In sum, conservative ideology may be attractive to individuals who are in a state of arousal [confusion] because it minimizes potential for further arousal [confusion/chaos]/" - Jordan Peterson (a pre-fame JP predicting his future grift: )

    Booming said: "Yeah Brownstone was founded last year by an anarcho capitalist."

    Virtually all websites cited by antivaxers are funded by billionaire libertarians (or wealthy Christian fundamentalists). But to folk who visit these sites, that's a plus; they tend to share the same beliefs.

    One of the big problems that killed lots of people in Sweden was that because there were very little restrictions or mask mandates, care homes were hit really hard. Especially before there were any vaccines.

    "It's almost karmic that the ones who created this virus and let it loose on the world"
    "Just to clarify I meant the Chinese government are monsters"
    They are eviiiilllll. Canada and the US are really in full cold war 2.0 mode, aren't they?
    I find it odd that some people are super suspicious of the government but the moment they say:" China is maybe responsible." All these people are like "I knew it!!!" Chopstick threat level 9. I guess the trillions dollar military industrial complex has no interests here and that an outside enemy is always useful have nothing to do with it.

    And here what is actually happening right now. I disagree in many points with Mearsheimer but he is brilliant and probably correct about the new cold war. He is also quite entertaining (Australians have a funny accent). You will love him.

    @Booming the Chinese government under Xi Jinping may not be Nazi level in the intensity of its brutality, but they are making up for it in sheer scale.

    Go read about the miraculous Chinese organ waiting list, where organs mysteriously appear within weeks where in other countries people need to wait years. Read about the Uyghurs and their treatment. Concentration camps. Forced sterilization. Forced organ harvesting. And no, I don't believe they are getting all those organs from criminals.

    As recently as a few years ago I thought China had human rights "issues" but wasn't terrible. Then they kidnapped Canadian citizens. Then they unleashed Covid on the world and tried to cover it up. And after reading more and more about their methods (at present they have locked down and imprisoned an entire city of 20,000,000 people (Shanghai) these human rights issues are starting to look like very very big ones indeed and I am far more willing to assume the worst about their government.

    And ya, they are responsible for COVID. Or put it this way: given all the evidence, I am making an "adverse inference" against them until they produce the natural reservoir for the virus. People who cover up and lie don't get the benefit of any doubt.

    And by the way Booming, you of all people should recognize fascism when you see it. The current Chinese regime is looking less and less communist and more and more fascist. Not that communism was peachy, but since you are the expert on the subject, I suggest you take a look at this because I don't think I am exaggerating. In fact, given the sheer scale of China's state, they could perpetrate a holocaust on a Tuesday evening and you might not even know it. The truth might be even worse than we realize.

    Sure, lots of bad stuff happens in the world. In India every year 1.5 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, with food prices exploding that number will be soon go beyond 2 million. And that is not some rumor. That is the indian states own numbers.

    I guess that is not as interesting as the Chinese maybe stealing organs.

    China is a pretty rough autocracy. No doubt. I would not want to live there. Some scarmongering about them is true, some isn't. When a hegemonic system, in this case our western system, is threatened, the information space goes a little crazy. Is it impossible that there are powerful players in the west that have a strong interest in painting the Chinese as the ultimate evil? The US is spending more on intelligence than Russia on it's entire military. I would assume that isn't all spend on CIA cocktail parties.

    Watch the Maersheimer vid and read the scientific american article, please. That is really all I have to say about China in this context.

    @Jason R.,

    Yes, this is why I qualified the statement with the parenthetical "yet Sweden failed at this monumentally very early on". As a result of Sweden doing little to no viral spread mitigation early in the pandemic, many elderly Swedes died:

    Once they got their act together, they were able to implement stronger mitigation practices in nursing homes and elder care facilities, while remaining more open in other areas of their society. I think this is what Republicans thought they were advocating for in the US, but it was done so recklessly, while intentionally fanning the flames of a manufactured culture war.

    Also as Booming rightfully pointed out, Sweden suffered more deaths than their similarly predisposed Nordic brethren of Norway and Denmark, who enacted more mandates and restrictions.

    The bottom line point I'm trying to make to Rahul is that one should trust institutions whose goal is to the truth, wherever it may lead (the foundation of scientific inquiry), rather than to institutions that have a pre-decided value system and only provide "evidence" in order to bolster their already held belief, such as Brownstone appears to be.

    Also sidenote to Jason R., China has not really been Communist since the 1970s, when they opened up their economy to the United States and allowed Chinese property owners to retain and grow their wealth. They have, however, as a state remained what I would best describe as an authoritarian autocracy with a fascist underbelly that rises when the citizenry doesn't play along. With their eyes on imperialism with Taiwan and the South China Sea, and their continued cultural genocide of the Uyghurs, they are looking increasingly fascistic as the days tick by.


    It's flawed to talk about total number of deaths (not surprising coming from Booming) -- the graph in the Brownstone article I gave a link to refers to a rate. And it seems to me, based on that, Sweden did pretty well compared to its European brethren. The other thing to consider is the benefits of not imposing widespread and sometimes lengthy lockdowns -- think of the benefits to the economy (or lack of shock to the economy) and small business. Think of how much better it would be for mental health as well.

    What institution is it that you don't think I'm trusting? I'm all about getting to the truth of the situation and not just unconditionally being compliant to some narrative or whatever.

    One thing I can agree with you on is China. Communism and the Chinese Communist Party is something I've spent a fair bit of time studying and writing about. The best way to describe how the CCP governs (oppresses) the people in China is socialism with Chinese characteristics. These Chinese characteristics are indeed fascist -- you rightly mention the Uyghurs cultural genocide, and we know the CCP to be racist, and trying to subjugate religion (Christianity), spirituality (Falun Gong) and ethnicities (Tibetans). Unfortunately for the people in China, the CCP is combining socialism with fascism which work quite effectively together in their eyes. There's even been this hashtag on Twitter "#Chinazi". The CCP would like China to be communist once again but for now they're stuck with socialism with Chinese characteristics.

    Well, Rahul you posted an article written by a guy with no credentials and total number of death compared to population aka death rate is a very relevant number. Arguably the most relevant. But to let Rahul's heart rest here
    Sweden has a death rate of 187 per 100k. Norway 57; Finland 81; Denmark 109
    So a Swede had a 3.3 higher chance of dying from covid than a Norwegian.

    One also has to compare similar cases because for example Bulgaria has a very low vaccination rate (less than 30%) and a far worth healthcare system, they also have the highest amount of smokers in Europe. The article never mentions that Sweden has by far the lowest smoking rate which is very relevant. The article also never mentions the better obesity rates in Sweden compared to Germany, Portugal and especially for the Czechs.

    Germany, Portugal and the Czech Republic also have far more smokers

    And really look at the Graphs for example the ones about daily cases. One ends on 22. April, the next 25. Feb. and the last 28. Jan. There are also quotes from opinion pieces written into the graph because that screams science.

    The article is so bad, as I said, it is for people who want to think that their beliefs are science based even though they are not.


    I don't know if you're really getting it. The point that Booming has expanded on is that the article you provided is clearly biased and does not provide relevant data that reflects the overall health of a population. As Booming points out, Sweden did better than Bulgaria with a viral respiratory infection because it is a healthier population with a better healthcare system. Norway did better than Sweden because although it is similar with regards to health, they instituted more mask/distance mandates.

    The scientific consensus is that face coverings worked (and still work) to limit the spread of Covid, and KN95 and N95 masks work effectively to prevent contracting the virus. There's really no way getting around that one. How it's enforced to help contain a pandemic, however, is another matter. I think the argument you actually want to have is the one you only just mentioned - the effect that enforced social distance and mask mandates in order to prevent spread of a pandemic have on other areas, namely the economy and mental health. One issue about the economy that seems rarely brought up - even when companies ignored state instituted mandates, some businesses were forced to shut down for the sole reason that a large majority of their workforce was out sick. Recall the chicken plant closures:

    In the US, small businesses were also permitted use the PPP loan program that if qualified, allowed the forgiveness of the money taken to keep the business afloat due to impact of Covid and any related government mandated closure. In fact, mask mandates were shown to actually HELP the economy:

    As to mental health issues, most of the research seems to reflect the increased depression and anxiety was due to the pandemic itself (a serious, deadly virus spreading fast across the globe can certainly cause that), rather than anything to do with governmental mandates or having to wear a piece of cloth on your face. In fact, Brookings found "surprisingly, a sharp decrease in behavioral health calls and no change in suicide-related EMS activations."

    The bottom line point is that you have a belief - the belief that government regulation of movement during the pandemic was bad in all facets of life. None of the evidence seems to support that belief. Yet you still hold on to that belief and traffic in confirmation bias, perhaps due to the fact that the institutions that you trust are not interested in facts and truth, but also to support their own same pre-held conclusion for their political benefit.

    if i may offer a european opinion on the matter:

    the differences in covid policy are highly exxagerated. its not like everyone in sweden was running around without a mask without any care. the super healthy scandinavian societies could build upon very cooperative populations. its also not the case that germany was in a series of total, apocalyptic lockdowns. at the end of the day, most european countries' covid policies were rather similar, and the numbers reflect that and actually say a lot more about a countries healthcare infrastructure than about covid policy. just the death rate numbers dont show that, but once you look at the infection vs death rate, you realize that some countries got similar infection rates (speaking to the effectiveness of policy that tried to prevent the virus from spreading), yet much different death rates (speaking to parameters tell you something about the quality and quantity of healthcare infrastructures, as well as vaccination rates).

    but at the end of the day, all of these discussions seem a bit pointless, dont they? do masks help? sure they help to some extent, that seems rather banal and obvious, but of course one can debate how much exactly. but of course one can also debate whether its really all that dramatic to put on a mask when you stop at the gas station or not and conclude that whether masks damp the spread by 4 or 40 percent, it doesnt hurt to wear them in times of such a uniquely bad pandemic. but at the end of the day, this isnt a topic for regular people throwing around "definite proofs" with cherry picked numbers on social media - its a debate for scientists, and complex cross discipline studies over what is surely many many many years to come.

    so, will we eventually know which approach was the best? i am optimistic we will. but we wont find it on jeffs facebook tomorrow, but more likely ten years from now, and not in the form of some simple message, but complex statistical analysis and recommendations that draw lessons from the worldwirde experience with covid measures - maybe even transparently weigh immunology against economic and mental health factors etc etc.

    none of this will be super sensational, none of it will be some "see! i knew measure X didnt work!" kind of TV or facebook friendly gotcha. it will be a boring, sober pile of data and statistical tendencies that nobody will want to look at - except the scientists themselves :-D

    @mosley said "but at the end of the day, this isnt a topic for regular people throwing around "definite proofs" with cherry picked numbers on social media - its a debate for scientists, and complex cross discipline studies over what is surely many many many years to come."

    I disagree. While the credentialed scientists and experts evaluate the data and reach an informed conclusion, it is precisely up to the average citizen to listen and amplify it because there is inevitably a slew of disinformation and cherry picked biased "reports" designed to fog the truth to benefit certain special interests.

    Covid is just an example here. It doesn't have to be. Take any issue of the day - climate change, guns, vaccines, etc. Science and social science has already amassed enough evidence and reached an overwhelming consensus on these issues, yet there is still a debate about it amongst the public. The public (as in the individual citizen) are the only ones with the power of the vote to enact change. Without truth and science informing those votes, we will inevitably live in a state of prolonged feckless inaction on too many of the problems affecting us.

    Thus, I don't think pointing any of this out is "pointless."

    The fact that the rightwinger in the USA, who see anything leftist as the ultimate evil, always quote the covid response of a Swedish government consisting of social democrats, greens and socialists is certainly not without irony.

    It's something that's bothered me for decades.

    In both TOS and TNG it is explicitly stated in the intro that the crew's mission is to seek out 'strange new worlds', and here we have a series actually titled Strange New Worlds.

    Just once I'd like to see a scene something like this:

    "There's an uncharted planet showing up on sensors, Captain."
    "Is it strange?"
    "A bit hard to say. It IS mauve."
    "I wouldn't call that strange."
    "Well, it's a little odd."
    "'Odd', or 'unusual' isn't good enough. How long is it since we've been somewhere actually strange? It IS in our mission description."
    "Well, there was Broborxos XII last week, with that old woman who swore in Yiddish."
    "Number one, even if I grant that the old woman was strange - and to be clear, I'm of the opinion she was merely demented - this hardly makes the whole planet strange, any more than it makes you strange because you have a birthmark that looks like Noam Chomsky."

    and so on,..

    I had expected to wait until the season was over before watching any of it, but as fate would have it a friend showed me this pilot episode last night, so I'll make a few short remarks.

    First I would like to mention that, despite watching the episode on a laptop, the visual and ship effects looked very much like CGI, to the point where it felt like I was watching a video game. So strictly on the tech front I find myself relateively displeased with all three nuTrek shows. I don't think anything they are doing in their design process looks nearly as good as what we got with DS9 and VOY from the 90's. The one thing they seem keen on, for instance in the title sequence, is to saturate the screen with colors, which is fine on its own, but the manner of rendering them made many shots in the credit sequence look like DeviantArt digital wallpaper.

    I think the cast is mainly holding their own well, and Mount (who I am seeing onscreen for the first time ever) has the dignity befitting a Starfleet Captain. The amount of power at a Captain's disposal should really require that such a person be superlatively worthy of trust, which is what makes much of Michael's portrayal on DSC so baffling and illogical. The rest of the crew will require some time to develop, so I'll leave off on itemizing what I think of them.

    The story, on the other hand, feels very contrived. I have very little respect for Akiva's work in general, and in terms of scripting his scenes feel almost like madlibs where [madatory situational comment] gets inserted throughout rather than the dialogue and story development appearing to be organic. When Kirk and company in TOS go down to a new planet, usually they are investigating something, find something surprising, and get pulled into some intrigue they didn't expect. The people they meet and things they do often have little to do with their initial reason for coming, and end up being an unexpected but important change of plans. Case in point: Tomorrow is Yesterday. They are back in time for one reason, and stuck: that's a plot point. But they run into Captain Christopher, and a large portion of the story is the unexpected development that ensues when they meet him and get to know him. What begins as a plot point turns into showing how one man deals with his look into the future and where his duties lie. Another example: The Devil in the Dark. They are there to solve a problem, but in so doing meet a new intelligent life form and have to try to make it recognize them as the same. The actual challenge is something that develops, and the dialogue always reflects the need to adapt.

    By contrast, in this pilot, their mission is to find their crew, and yes, they do discover some unexpected tech on the planet. But the story beats themselves end up being a 1-2-3 procession of getting down there, getting into the facility, getting their people out, and yes, finally dealing with the cultural contamination. But none of what happens during the story deviates from where it was always headed from the start. And although Pike's solution seems to be excessive (simply stealing the tech back would be less invasive than telling all and inviting them into the Federation) it doesn't strike me as being something he was forced into. It's more like a grand gesture not earned by Pike having little other choice.

    The scene dialogues feel like this to me as well, where conversations go in a very 1-2-3 direction, like a writer trying to get from point A to point B in the simplest possible fashion. Even some of the conflict in the scenes feels contrived, for instanced Pike reprimanding his temporary XO for keeping from him that she knew Number One from before. Why should it matter that his officer happened to know the person they were trying to rescue? It seems to change nothing, but the Akiva wanted some conflict and a Lesson Learned (TM) and so wrote that in. But the scenario did not call for it, so it's merely shoehorned in because that script beat called for some tension. Other examples of clunky writing include Spock randomly name-dropping his sister and how the loss of her is weighing on him. I see no logical reason why Spock was volunteer private information like that out of the blue, especially since it's effectively of an emotional nature. But the script needs him to do it because they are trying to create connective tissue between DSC S2 and the events here. But again, it's not organic, it's just thrown in to get across what the writer needs to get across.

    Overall I did feel that even the pacing was contributing toward my general feeling what while nothing was particularly offending me, I was also thrilled by nothing. The story just was what it was. A little bit of the end was inspirational, if pushy. I don't think this was a great first outing, but I can fully understand why so many people here are pleased that the tone of the show seems to have gone back to its roots. I'll leave off further judgement until I see more. For now I don't think this one fared much better than the slower parts of Encounter at Farpoint.

    @Peter G.

    My issue with "Strange New Worlds" so far is that it seems to be trying to recreate the Berman era. But we know from "Voyager" and "Enterprise" that it's not enough. Of course, we also know now from "Discovery" and "Picard" that merely aping the structure of prestige tv also isn't enough to make a good show, but I digress. You have to inject some freshness into the format, and so far, "Strange New Worlds" hasn't done that. We'll see if it can do so in the final 4 episodes.

    The only nitpick that I have with this episode, is that I would have found funnier the scene were Spock and T'Pring were invited to leave from the restaurant by the waiter after they just touched his fingers.

    I finally got around to watching this. Not very good. The dialogue is persistently weak. Anson Mount's Pike makes Scott Bakula's Archer look like George C. Scott's Patton. The Spock/T'Pring scenes were terrible. Just embarrassingly bad. Hanging a lamp on The Day the Earth Stood Still in the pilot episode is also an ominous sign.

    If this is 3 star episode I'm not going to get my hopes up for the rest of the season.

    The visuals are fantastic.

    SNW co-showrunner Henry Alonso Myers' speech after reciving HCA Legacy award:

    "This award belongs to all of them, but it also belongs to Gene Roddenberry because it’s his legacy that this award is really all about, as well as the legacy of the many talented people who worked with him, like Nichelle Nichols, who we lost just a couple of weeks ago. In the first pitch document that we sent to the network… we opened with a question asking, “What if we just did Star Trek?” And they said, “Okay.” Every day in the writers’ room, we try to imagine how would Gene Roddenberry and his team make The Original Series if they were doing it today? They would use state-of-the-art visual effects. They would ask questions that deal with the politics of today. They would approach character thoughtfully like we expect from the best dramas. But most importantly, they would tell stories about the future that give us hope that there will be a future like this to look forward to."

    This was surprisingly enjoyable. I can't say that I have any issues so far. The episode kept me on board and entertained for its runtime. It wasn't anything groundbreaking, but it wasn't offensive, either, which is all I hope for out of Trek at this point. Curious to see where this will go!

    3.5 stars from me. I love how the crew already feels like an ensemble from episode 1. Picard took 1.5 seasons to get there and Disco still hasn’t gotten there. Anson Mount is amazing. I think I might go back and watch Hell on Wheels again after this. If you guys haven’t seen He’ll on Wheels, please check it out, very underrated and Colm Meaney has a big role in the series, who is also amazing.

    So one can reverse engineer a warp drive from radio telescope data? Ok...

    Also the bridge lighting. There are way way too many TL tubes. The view screen is the same as the Titan. Ultra wide. Heck, is this the same set? But yeah, best of NuTrek. Only because they had to. And not saying much obviously. It seems they go the Star Wars route. Release as many of series as possible. Each not have any longlivity down the line. Can't stand Discovery. Picard S1 and 2 basically skipped. 3 also goes nowhere, but the setting is better. The cartoons. IDK. All just one watch material at best.

    An improvement over Picard/Discovery, but those are such low bars this isn't saying much. My main issue is with the casting/characters. With the exception of Pike (who I didn't mind) others seem boring, self-conscious, not that intelligent, and artificial.

    Why is that NuTrek ALWAYS messes up vulcans? They aren't boring robots. The Spock actor in this show delivers his lines without vocal inflections and with consistent spacing between words and few acting pauses. Nimoy's delivery was MUCH different and much better. Spock (like most vulcans) was very emotional, but they just suppressed them. Nimoy's delivery was very varied and included different vocal inflections, facial expressions, and dramatic pauses. He was also much cynical and judgmental than NuTrek vulcans.

    Wow, this is total trash can garbage. Kurtzman does not care about or understand Trek. The only redeemable thing about this is cadet Uhura. She's a fantastic actress and she finally gives the character depth, which was not Nichelle Nichols' fault. They gave her lines finally. She's not a sexy dancer, like that film. Good.

    Pike is Pikeish so that gets some respect. Spock does the Christian Bale Batman Spock, fake deep voice conveys importance. Yes, it's better than the Kelvin Spock. This is still obscenly boring. I only care about Uhura. Chong is okay as a nice version of Singh so far.

    Kurtzman wrote two Transformer movies. That's a huge black strike. His resume is hilariously bad. Why not give the reins to another senior writer? They would have taken the role. There's at least five younger writers in the Berman era able to nail it. He said he doesn't care about Trek and only politics, which is important. J.J. didn't even like Star Trek, he liked the pew pew pew Star Wars action bs without no intellect. Politics do matter. This has no heart. Berman should have cared more about LGBTQ+ issues and been more interested in epic music helping the show. That's a valid complaint.

    He took Trek to the next level, which Roddenbury couldn't because he was a drug addict who couldn't focus enough to really push his ideal. Berman Trek > this J.J. hack garbage. This story is a pure snore. I'll give it two more and I'm done. Berman Trek is by far the best Trek. I'm into the second episode. It's not interesting.

    Well this has been a popular comments page!

    Just finally started watching it myself. I was skeptical of yet another Nu Trek show, yet another set in the "past" etc (hence it's taken so long for me to bother with it but people said this one is different) but actually after the first couple of episodes I have high hopes. For once it seems to prove that it IS possible to create more classic-style and optimistic Star Trek, even when it's set in the pre-TOS era, and not have it suck or to have to do some epic dark gritty "realistic" story.

    I had just about given up and called Orville the new Star Trek.

    Still plenty of time to mess it up of course. My main worry is if it does a "Final Fantasy VII Remake", for those familiar with it, where it starts off drawing in us oldschool fans with nostalgia and familiarity and then just as you're getting into it, diverges into absurdity and becomes a meta-story about knowing your own fate and the question of whether averting a tragedy would mess up the future, when all I wanted was... a remake. Plenty of hints of this with Pike already. However I'm not too worried if it does occur and spin off another alternate timeline where he saves the kids AND doesn't end up Mr Beep Boop, if the alternate timeline still feels like it could be "ours". In fact I'd maybe prefer it - for example I'm not that keen on the whole Burn thing in DSC, and if this series shows a message of "the future isn't written in stone" and goes down some alternative path that ultimately avoids that too, then great. Happy for the DSC world to live in its own "similar but different" universe. Have a new and different TNG cast in a few years. Whatever. If it has the *soul*, that SNW seems to have, then any of these things could work.

    I don't know what gives when it comes to Star Trek and its character naming, but I'm glad it's a Noonien-Singh which will make a change from a Noonian-Soong. Last thing the show needs is another excuse to shoehorn Spiner in.

    Still working my way through the comments (because I guess I'm a masochist)

    I was looking to avoid the political debate but good work dlpb at for managing to prove what I always thought about these types.

    Starting off with what could be framed as reasonable criticism of some of the more extreme and authoritarian lefties before really showing their colours in the second paragraph. Proving the usual claims they make to be Just Asking Questions and wanting a Picard-style Reasonable Debate (paragraph 1) to be nothing but a veneer attempting to make bigotry (paragraph 2) look reasonable. Glad we have a good example of why not to fall for it, and I almost did.

    Sorry to poke at the political wounds that made a mess of this place a year ago but I have some trans friends, who this clown clearly considers invalid at best, so felt compelled to comment.

    I have no issue with trans at all - I do, however, have a problem when I am told it's not a mental problem - or when I see women's records being beaten by biological males, or female fighters having their skulls smashed in by biological males, among many other problems.

    On a person by person basis I treat everyone equally, but thanks for playing.

    And as I noted in the original message, even leftists like Rowling have had enough of this crap. So whine all you want - the ballot box is going to stuff your lot good. The political pandering to trans and non binary at the expense of women has somehow managed to do what no other issue ever has - it's to get 3rd wave feminists and the "right wing" agreeing with each other. Basically, this freak train is being derailed - we won't allow gender to be redefined at the expense of women, marriage, traditional values - all to aid a vast minority of people and their feelings.

    Yep dlpb continuing to be one of JK's minions. I know a bigot when I see one, no matter how much it lies about it.

    I think an opportunity was missed here - the people on the planet were barely involved in this episode at all, as if the writers found the need for an actual plot to be an irritant. There were a handful who got beaten up, then one woman who managed to speak for around a minute, and finally a bunch of shots of people looking silently in awe. TNG did this sort of story quite well, but this was all about the backstories of the crew.

    Maybe alien of the week is truly just a dead format... I'd just like something which feels a bit less grandiose.

    With that said, Spock's reversion was sufficiently naff to almost make you think you were watching TOS for the briefest of moments!

    I just can't get over the re-casting. This is modern Hollywood's shtick of relying on brand name. Oh look it's Spock TM and Pike, Uhura, and Chapel. But while casuals might recognize Spock's name, is it really a good idea to re-cast the character? I don't think you can cast anybody besides Nimoy; in fact they ought to have retired the character when the actor passed away. Which I'm sure had already been done probably decades prior. (Yeah I realize J.J. Abrams did do that in 2009 but I haven't seen any of those films, okay?)

    I love TOS. To me, that is plainly "Star Trek." The others need an identifier (TNG, DS9, etc.) but the original is the definitive. I discovered it when I needed some 60s/70s sci-fi to fill in the drought left behind when I finished classic/original Doctor Who.

    So to me, it just feels very odd seeing the designs and props that are borrowed from TOS, but because it's a modern show has to look and feel very contemporary. Heck, even the aspect ratio is like ultra-widescreen cinematic (I hate when tv shows do screen is 16:9 people. I can't imagine how terrible that must look on a 4:3 iPad screen).

    For instance, seeing the communicator is just weird. Yeah, it's a prequel so you'd expect it to be there, but at the time, that stuff was actually futuristic, and landed up inspiring tech of the future. But from today's perspective, seeing the prototype concept of a flip phone in a sci-fi program just feels kind of comical. Anachronistic is the word. They certainly are faithful to the style of the original show, but they also want to be modern. Pick a lane. Either have a classic feel or go modern, but straddling the line doesn't work.

    The acting is so wooden to me. Kirk, Bones, and Spock are so memorable because it feels like there's real people behind their performances. Just because Spock is supposed to be unemotional and logical, doesn't mean Nimoy didn't give his performance an irreplaceable gravitas. He made it come to life. This wannabe Spock doesn't sound anything like the Spock in my head. I know how Spock should sound like, and how he would say these lines, and this performance on screen isn't that. He sounds so monotonous, like he's just bored out of his mind while delivering the lines. Replacing Spock is a huge mistake. Same with Nurse Chapel. C'mon, this new girl looks nothing like Chapel. The original Chapel is famously played by the godmother of Trek.

    Pike on the other hand, gives a good enough performance that I can buy his re-casting. (It helps that he was only in one episode, (well two but one story) so I'm not as attached to the original actor's portrayal). Uhura too admittedly didn't have all that many lines of dialogue originally, and she was rather mild-mannered. So I'm okay with her re-casting. But I can't get past Chapel and especially Spock. The fact that we see Spock about to have sex too in his first appearance on screen--how do you screw up one of the most iconic characters in the first 11 minutes? Kirk (or Pike here) is the one who gallivants around with pretty women. Spock is supposed to be asexual and resolute, until that time now and again when the Vulcans give in to their years of pent up sexual instinct. Or if Spock is under the spell of some drug or something. But ordinarily this just seems woefully out of character.

    The special effects, especially the ship, look terrible. Okay, not terrible as in poorly done, of course not. But any CGI is always going to look artificial and lame compared to an actual real model. Somebody online compared it to a cartoon, and that is really what it is. CGI animation is basically a glorified cartoon scene. The "in warp speed" effect looks pathetic compared to TNG's stars flying by effect. The CGI ships look far inferior to the real models and planets used in the original show. I've heard people whine and complain about how it's too expensive to use real models--bullshit! Seth McFarlane's knockoff Trek series, aka "The Orville" had real models and effects. You're telling me the original Trek in the 60s even in the 3rd season when they were so low budget that a good 80-90% of the scripts had to take place on board the ship, and they had that same one set for being on a planet, with the styrofoam rocks--that show could have shots of real models for the Enterprise and the planets, but the modern show with its cinematic, on location shooting can't have that? Get out of here.

    This just reeks to me like the new "Star Wars" where I don't know who it's supposed to appeal to. On the surface it's nostalgia-bait for nerds who love the original show, but beyond the surface-deep similarities, it's borderline offensive to see such iconic characters re-casted at all, let alone with vastly inferior replacements. Yes, it's got a lot of the design styles of the 60s--the famous spiky "Star Trek" sideburns they all had then are back!--but put in a contemporary style just doesn't work. It's a prequel in theory, but you don't get the feeling that this could have happened before the original show. That's probably an inevitable reality of doing a prequel 60+ years later.

    P.S. Just because the audience knows Pike lands up paralyzed, reliant on a buzzer to communicate, doesn't mean the character necessarily has to have that foreknowledge.

    P.P.S. I'm pretty sure they didn't call first officers "Number One" until TNG. That's a distinct Picard-ism. I don't recall Kirk ever doing that. Since this takes place before TOS, they shouldn't be doing it in this show.

    "P.P.S. I'm pretty sure they didn't call first officers "Number One" until TNG. That's a distinct Picard-ism. I don't recall Kirk ever doing that. Since this takes place before TOS, they shouldn't be doing it in this show."

    Number One was the character's name in the original TOS pilot, "The Cage."

    @Jammer You may be right, I don’t remember exactly if they used that, but it certainly didn’t become commonplace until TNG era. On the original show, he would always say, “Scotty/Sulu/Spock/etc., You have the comm,” to indicate so and so would have command over the ship while he was away.

    I decided to watch "Strange New Worlds". nuTrek has killed all my fondness for "Star Trek", and the awfulness of "Disco" and "Picard" have demythologized and robbed "TOS"/"TNG" of much of their mystery and power, but I'm out of classic "Twilight Zone", "X-Files" and "Dr Who" episodes to watch, and I need a Scifi fix. So here I am.

    nuTrek tends to open its seasons with promising episodes, and "Strange New Worlds" is no different. Despite being written by Akiva Goldsman, this is an excellent pilot. Indeed, having seen all the other "SNW" episodes, I'd argue this is the show's best script; it's lean, covers much ground efficiently, and is unpretentious in the way it makes its points.

    Watch, for example, how the episode opens with a first contact situation in which advanced humans meet destructive, "primitive" aliens. This is recontextualized minutes later when Captain Pike watches "The Day the Earth Stood Still", a film in which advanced aliens who belong to a "federation of mutually beneficial races" meet primitive and destructive humans. This echoes the end of this episode, when Pike invites the aforementioned aliens into the Federation.

    The destructiveness of atomic warfare hangs over all these sub-stories, and it hangs like a cloud over Pike himself. He's long learnt that he's destined to die at a certain time and place, but despite this - this threat of being disconnected from life - he chooses to embrace and hang on to others.

    This act of embrace becomes a metaphor in the episode for not only the way the Federation extends a hand of friendship toward other planets, but the way Pike governs his crew: he's warm, inviting and chummy with them. To paraphrase Stanley Kubrick, no matter how vast the darkness, Pike and the Federation have resolved to always supply a light.

    So Akiva's script efficiently conveys a certain utopian impulse. And it does this in an unpretentious, matter-of-fact way, without all the crying, back-patting and cloying speeches that mar similar gestures in "Discovery" and "Picard".

    What's also interesting is that Pike only gets away with inviting the aliens into the Federation because he exploits a loophole. And it's a clever loophole for Akiva to have noticed, and one which he cleverly uses to justify the subsequent invention of the Prime Directive. It's a neat bit of writing.

    Aesthetically, the episode is above average. The new Enterprise has lovely corridors, a nice sickbay and a nice bar, but the engineering room looks like an obvious green screen, the bridge is too glossy and Pike's quarters and ready room are too large, leading to framing problems (characters struggle to fill the widescreen).

    The show's production design is attempting to merge the aesthetic of TOS, "The Motion Picture" and the JJ Movies, but this leads to an aesthetic that is a bit contradictory. The universe of TOS felt wild, lawless and dangerous, and its Enterprise felt small, vulnerable, cramped and outmatched, like a 1950s American gunship lost behind enemy lines and stalked by dangerous shadows.

    But "Strange New Worlds" doesn't convey this sense of danger. Its Enterprise is big and glossy, with bright interiors and advanced technology. Its crewmen aren't New Kids on the Block tentatively stepping out into the unknown, they're confident, sassy wise-asses without much care in the world. Pike himself loses all his anxieties about death after episode 2 of season 1, and becomes a caricature every bit as juvenile as his crew.

    So as good as the Enterprise's interiors look in "Strange New Worlds", they're a bit wrong for this period of Federation history. The Enterprise should be a bit more cramped, a bit darker, a bit colder, a bit less hospitable, and its crew should be more attentive and competent. They should respect the cold of space, they should be knee-deep in endless drills and checklists, the should be up to their necks in department routines, and they should be wary of the dangers of space travel. Instead, they act like Masters of the Fratboy Universe centuries before the Federation was a Super Power.

    In terms of characters, I thought most were well sketched and efficiently introduced in this episode. Uhura is instantly likeable, and remains loveable throughout the show. Spock also manages to respect the towering legacy of Leonard Nimoy; he has good camaraderie with Pike and Kirk throughout both seasons, though his dialogue with T'Pring and Chapel is consistently awful and hacky.

    Number One is a mixed bag. After the wonderful female leads in "DS9", "Voyager" and "Orville", she's a bit unimpressive. M'Benga is more interesting, feeling like a guy right out of a 1960s blaxploitation movie. His accent is a great choice (too thick in some scenes), and he gets one near-great episode, but also lots of melodramatic cheese and generic sickbay speak.

    Though she's fine in this episode, I personally thought La'An Noonian-Singh was poorly written and acted throughout the two seasons (a generic tough, damaged girl, again done better recently in "Orville"), and I dislike her surname. The TOS universe keeps shrinking beyond the point of believably.

    I also found Nurse Chapel to be poorly written and acted. She's far too manic, quirky and quippy. Ortegas likewise. Together both characters are responsible for most of the incongruous dialogue in the show ("I'm gonna mess with your genome!", "You boss a rocket ship!", "Like, you know, we're going all simplistic here!", "Five by five!""). This trait mostly appears, and gets worse, in subsequent episodes, but it ruins a pivotal moment in this episode as well: Pike delivers the iconic "to boldly go where no man has gone before" line, and in response a crewman yells "Cool!"

    Things like this kill all immersion. On the plus side, Pike gets a classic Captain's Monologue in this episode, gives an optimistic speech worthy of mid-tier Picard ("We can go forward together!") and has a nice moment where he essentially compares trees growing in zero-gravity biomes to Starfleet and the Federation, a nice bit of symbolism on Akiva's part.

    I thought the show's opening credits were well done, and beautifully scored, though the CGI ship models look off to me throughout the show. The beautiful ivory-white hulls of the Meyers films are gone, replaced with overly busy CGI skins that constantly get garbled by lighting algorithms. Most of the ship battles throughout the next two seasons also seem farmed out to FX houses that put little creative thought into the work, and there's often no sense that the Enterprise sets exist in the same universe as her CGI models or the models she zaps or zips away from. In a sense, Kurtzman-Trek has always been this way: his is Trek via Ikea, a bunch of soulless pre-fab pieces slotted together without much artistic thought.

    Akiva's script in this episode, however, is thoughtful. You sense that he cares about the source material, and has a firm idea and point he wants to get across. He may be responsible for some of the worst big-budget films of all time ("Batman and Robin", "Batman Forever", "I Robot", "Transformers", "The Da Vinci Code", "Rings") but with this he channels the functional tone of his John Grisham adaptations ("The Clint", "A Time to Kill"): unpretentious pulp, done competently.


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