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Sparky Prime
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds season 1 episode 8
Spoiler
The Enterprise has just completed a survey of a nebula and is attempting to leave... but the warp engines wont engage. Spock recommends impulse until they've completely cleared the nebula, which only causes the ship to violently lurch forward for a moment, still dead in its tracks. M'Benga is called to the bridge when Ortegas hits her head on the console but finds himself in the story he reads to his daughter (apparently written by Benny Russell, Sisko's alter ego in some visions during DS9) while he has her out of the transporter, and he is the only crew member to retain his memories, as the rest of the crew begins to act as characters in the story.

Eventually M'Benga realizes two of the characters never meet each other in the story, yet claim to know each other very well. How his daughter would like to interpret the story. Finding his daughter is no longer in the transporter buffer, he and Hemmer (who thanks to his telepathic abilities was able to remain himself as well) locate her in his quarters and are confronted by an entity in the nebula that speaks through Hemmer. Finding that the entity has cured his daughter, he's forced to choose between putting her back in the transporter buffer, as her disease will re-emerge once they're away from the nebula, or leaving her with the entities. He decides to leave her with the entities, and she rapidly ages with them. Reappearing as an adult, she thanks and tells her father he made the right choice by letting her go.

The Enterprise is restored to normal but M'Benga is the only one that remembers the past 5 hours.
Bittersweet story. And while it was a good story in and of itself... I have to say I'm disappointed by it. What happened to the potential treatment for M'Benga's daughter that Gamal offered to help him with just a couple episodes ago? Given M'Benga said it could be the first step towards a cure, I got the impression that this would be a long drawn out endeavor, where it would take the combine medical technologies of several different species to develop a cure for her. You know, showcase what Federation ideals of sharing and working together can ultimately achieve that one (or the few) can't achieve on their own. But nope. Instead they just completely cut that plot off here. With how many episodes touched on it, it was not a satisfying end just to have it magically taken care of by an all powerful being. There's very little pay off for it this way and makes it feel like the writers just decided to quickly wrap it up.

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Ursus mellifera
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Ursus mellifera »

Sparky Prime wrote:
Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:01 pm
Given M'Benga said it could be the first step towards a cure, I got the impression that this would be a long drawn out endeavor, where it would take the combine medical technologies of several different species to develop a cure for her. You know, showcase what Federation ideals of sharing and working together can ultimately achieve that one (or the few) can't achieve on their own.
This is what I had been hoping for, as well.
Check it out, a honey bear! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkajou

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds season 1 episode 9
Spoiler
The Enterprise is on it's way to deliver power cells to Space Station K-7 when Starfleet diverts them to investigate a distress call from the USS Peregrine. They call it a Sombra-class starship... but it looks identical to a Constitution-class. They even point out in the dialog that it uses parts from the Constitution-class. They imply that it's a smaller ship by saying it only has a crew of 99, but then we see it's the same size as Enterprise when they're tractoring it at the end of the episode... So how exactly is it a different class of ship if it's an identical configuration and uses all the same parts? They should have just said it was a Constitution-class ship. At any rate, K-7 doesn't have the power to hold out for another ship, so Pike sends the Enterprise to finish the delivery while he takes two shuttles down to the planet assuming the Peregrine is just in need of repairs because they're unable to communicate through the atmosphere of the planet they crashed on.

On the planet, it's quickly discovered the crew is all dead, and the ship is without power. The Peregrine had rescued a ship and one of them was infected with Gorn eggs... which is what killed the crew. But they apparently froze to death on the surface of the planet. A little girl and an unknown alien are found alive in the ship, but it turns out the unknown alien was also infected with Gorn eggs... which hatch out of him like the Xenomorph in Aliens and promptly go on a rampage through the ship. The crew come up with a plan and manage to kill the baby Gorn. Hemmer was spit on by one of the Gorn earlier, which turns out to be how they reproduce... I just... what?! So Hemmer says his goodbyes and jumps out the back of the open cargo bay before the Gorn in him hatch.

Back on the Enterprise, the crew pay their respects to those that died during the mission, and Spock finds he is having trouble controlling his emotions that he let out to attack the Gorn. La’an Noonien-Singh decides to take a leave of absence to look for the family of the little girl they rescued.
Once again, this episode had potential. Star Trek has done the abandoned/horror starship thing before and done a good job it with. But this missed the mark for me because the series hasn't earned some of the emotional moments they're going for, not to mention some of the odd choices they made. So... this was another disappointing episode.

I really like that they're using the Gorn as the big villain for the season, but I also really hate how they're portrayed. How are the Gorn a spacefaring race given what we see of them? Granted, the Gorn in this episode are essentially newborns, but they attack and kill each other (along with anything else that moves) the moment they emerge. They also grow and mature very quickly but never really show any intelligence you'd expect from an advanced race capable of space travel. They're essentially Xenomorphs in this episode. Mindless killing machines that are born by bursting out of people. Not sure how their method of reproduction shown in this episode is supposed to make any sense. Through acid spit? Are they like Tribble's, born pregnant now? Apparently they have a natural chameleon ability that makes them invisible to sensors. Even though in "A Mirror Darkly" pt2 of Enterprise, they could detect the Gorn that was on the Defiant, and Hemmer couldn't even sense them with his telepathy... I feel like they've made the Gorn too powerful here.

The death of a main character was surprising. Unfortunately, it's a character that I felt hasn't really gotten much characterization thus far, so it doesn't really have much emotional impact for the audience, and came out of no where. Instead, they play up Uhura's reaction because she got to know him during her rotations in different departments on the Enterprise, and turn it into a reason for her to stay in Starfleet.

Sam Kirk appears for the first time since episode 2. He doesn't really do much though. He gets mad at Spock for not showing emotion when a lieutenant is killed. Kinda have to wonder if they're trying to be ironic, have a Kirk act more like McCoy did towards Spock. Has Sam never worked with a Vulcan before? It's odd for a Starfleet officer to unironically criticize a Vulcan for being unfeeling...

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

Strange New Worlds season 1 episode 10

Season Finale
Spoiler
The Enterprise is resupplying and refitting an outpost along the Romulan Neutral Zone when the son of the commander of the outpost interrupts their meeting. Turn out this kid is one of the cadets killed in the accident Pike is left disabled by in a few years. Back at his quarters, Pike begins to draft a letter to warn the kid when a future version of himself shows up. This version of Pike is shown wearing a movie era uniform similar to the uniforms introduced in Wrath of Khan. It's got some nu-trek alterations, but overall, it looks good. Future Pike warns his past self that altering his fate, saving all the cadets plus himself, would have some unintended consequences. He's brought another time crystal from Boreth to show him a glimpse of that future....

Pike finds himself 7 years in the future and still captain of the Enterprise. From here, the episode somewhat recreates the classic episode "Balance of Terror", with the Enterprise going after the cloaked Romulan Warbird after it destroys several outposts along the Neutral Zone. Pike gets some help from Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Farragut. The Farragut ends up destroyed, and Kirk is upset the Pike didn't shoot the Romulans Warbird seconds earlier than he did. Pike negotiates a cease fire so both ships can make repairs, but when time is up, a Romulan fleet shows up. Kirk arrives with an army of automated mining equipment, hoping to bluff the Romulans. The Romulans end up declaring war anyway, and the Enterprise retreats, and Spock is gravely injured.

Future Pike returns, explaining they're still at war with the Romulans, and millions have died. He somehow knows that Spock is their best chance at someday having peaceful relations with the Romulans, and explains in every timeline where Pike avoids his fate, Spock ends up dead instead. Captain Kirk shows up and they get to know each other, before Pike returns to the present and erases the letter he'd begun warning the kid about the future.

Una is arrested for being a genetically modified Illyrian.
Interesting episode... I'm a bit conflicted on it. I liked parts of it, and hated other parts of it.

It basically retcons Discovery's claim that once Pike took the time crystal he wouldn't be able to change his future. Here we find out he can change his future, but apparently no matter what he does results in a bad future. It's still terrible writing in terms of how time travel works in Star Trek, but it is better than Discovery claiming nothing could be done to change it at least. Don't really understand why Pike was still Captain of the Enterprise in this future he's shown. Preventing the accident that left him scarred/disabled happened well after Kirk became Captain of the Enterprise. Most of the cast of SNW also remains on the Enterprise, even though characters like Sulu and McCoy should be there instead. I guess with Pike still captain, maybe that's why some of his crew are still in those positions. But still... There's a few things that conflict with how it should be, alternate timeline or not.

Pike once again gets knowledge of the future he shouldn't have. Not sure if it'll play a role in future episodes or not, but is potentially problematic simply because he knows things before he should.

Erica Ortegas seems out of character in this episode... For what little characterization she got this season since they never focused on her beyond being a snarky helmsmen. Disappointed by how little they utilized several crew members this season. But at any rate, she's very insistent about destroying the enemy ship, to the point Pike yells at her. I gather this is because she's essentially filling a role of another character during the original episode, but she's never pushed the Captain like this in previous episodes. I almost felt like she had a vendetta again these aliens, which she shouldn't have...

Overall, I'd say this was a good season. It still had some episodes I was disappointed by, and I think they have relied a little too much on previous Star Trek storylines rather than trying to be more original. But this was much better than any of Discovery or Picard.

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andersonh1
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Re: Star Trek

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I read the spoilers... seems like a standard time travel plot, but with an interesting approach if they essentially recreate parts of "Balance of Terror" with Pike in command instead of Kirk. It's interesting that they go with the idea that the future in general is worse if Pike doesn't end up crippled. It almost undermines the show's lead character to say that things after a certain point are better without him in charge. I'll have to see the episode to really decide if the storytelling approach works or not.

How well do they recreate Kirk in this episode? I'm sure the actor playing him wouldn't do a Shatner impression, but does he do a better job of capturing the essence of the character than Chris Pine? A lot of the problems I have with Pine are admittedly due to the writing rather than his performance, so maybe this is a question about both the writing and the acting.

With SNW and Picard done, I might get Paramount+ for a month and binge both. Strange New Worlds seems to have gone over very well with viewers from what I can tell, while reactions to Picard are a lot more mixed.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

andersonh1 wrote:
Fri Jul 08, 2022 5:35 am
How well do they recreate Kirk in this episode? I'm sure the actor playing him wouldn't do a Shatner impression, but does he do a better job of capturing the essence of the character than Chris Pine? A lot of the problems I have with Pine are admittedly due to the writing rather than his performance, so maybe this is a question about both the writing and the acting.
Personally, I felt he seemed like a pretty generic Starfleet captain, there was nothing particularly "Kirk" in his performance. But I saw in an interview today he said he wasn't really trying to be classic Kirk, because in this timeline he's had a very different life, having not become captain of the Enterprise and hadn't been influenced by people like McCoy or Spock. He's apparently going to be back for season 2 (which to maintain continuity, he cannot meet Pike, so I dunno how that'll work), so maybe he'll be more like the classic Kirk then.

I felt Chris Pine was a pretty good Kirk. But yeah, the writing made him more of a caricature of Kirk, playing more into meme's about the character rather than the character himself.

I decided to watch the original "Balance of Terror" episode last night. It bothers me even more to see they substituted Lt. Stiles with Lt. Ortegas in this SNW episode. The difference being, Stiles points out early in "Balance of Terror" that his family fought in the Romulan War. He was raised hearing about these war stories, and thus has a clear reason to hate the Romulans. Ortegas however, has no such reason given in the episode. So where does her over the top hated of the Romulans come from? And the thing is, the way TOS writers handled it was a great way to give a little bit of characterization to a character. A throwaway character who only appeared in one episode got more and better characterization than a series regular in Strange New Worlds did in 10 episodes...

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andersonh1
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Re: Star Trek

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The first season of the original Star Trek does a great job of giving secondary characters a few moments to shine. It doesn't really become the Kirk/Spock/McCoy show that people think of until the second season. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy those three characters as the primary focus, but I enjoyed seeing other characters like DeSalle or Riley or Stiles or any number of one or two appearance Enterprise crewmen get some scenes that fleshed them out as people, and they don't do nearly as much of that in the 2nd and 3rd seasons.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

Sparky Prime wrote:
Thu May 12, 2022 12:31 pm
Strange New Worlds season 1 episode 2
Spoiler
Pike is throwing dinner party in his cabin and has invited a number of new crewmembers to get to know them a bit better. It's supposed to be a casual thing, but Uhura was told by Ortegas she should wear her dress uniform, as a bit of hazing. At the party, Uhura mentions she's not sure Starfleet is for her. Her parents and brother died in a tragic shuttle accident, and she couldn't stand to be at the school they taught at anymore, so she ran off to join Starfleet. Why does EVERY character have a tragic backstory in modern Trek? On the way back to her quarters, she asks Spock if she was too honest, which Spock says he and the captain values, but if she doesn't feel she belongs in Starfleet, maybe she should make room from someone who does.

The Enterprise is studying a comet and have projected that it'll impact an M-class planet with a pre-warp civilization. The crew suggests attaching ion engines to change the course of the comet. I can't help but think of TNG episode "Pen Pals", where the crew debated over saving a pre-warp civilization from a natural disaster. But here, there isn't even any question. They just immediately jump to helping save this world. Anyway, an object inside the comet raises shields, preventing the ion engines from attaching. Enterprise sends an away team to investigate. Sam Kirk is injured (they immediately take off his helmet, despite not establishing this chamber has air, and apparently tricorders have a built-in defibrillator) when he touches a large egg shaped object in the center of the chamber and the object raises shields, preventing Enterprise from beaming them back. To make matters worst, an alien ship surprise attacks Enterprise because they consider the comet to be holy. Why didn't Enterprise detect their approach? Pike attempts to explain they're trying to save both the comet and the nearby planet, but the aliens claim whatever happens to the comet is pre-ordained and warn Enterprise not to take any further action.

Uhura and Spock figure out that the chamber responds to music, and eventually figures out how to bring down the shields, allowing Enterprise to beam them back. Still wanting to save the planet however, they come up with a plan... Provoking the aliens as a distraction, they drop Spock off in a shuttle who heats up the shields to melt part of the comet. Enterprise then surrenders to the aliens, asking for help and promising not to touch the comet, which the aliens agree to. Spock's efforts successfully alters the comet's course, and causes a large amount of water vapor to be deposited in the planet's atmosphere, which they say will make the planet less arid and promote plant growth and societal development... I have to question the science behind this. For all they know, life on this planet is adapted to having less water and more water would lead to an environmental disaster. Later, after further analysis of the music from the structure inside the comet, Uhura believes it somehow had foreknowledge of these events, as they uncover the course of the comet through the solar system (which shows it missing the M-class planet) and the ice chuck that broke off of it, identical to the piece that broke off when Spock corrected its course.

In his quarters, Number 1 and Pike marvel at the idea everything that happened today may have been pre-ordained after all, and Number 1 points out just because they'd gotten a message from the future, doesn't mean they understood it at first... Talking more about Pike's own message about his future. Pike points out the names of the cadets he will save, thinking it'll all be worth it. But Una refuses to believe his fate is written in stone.
Fairly good episode. It's good to see Star Trek finally getting back to what it should be about. Didn't like how the Enterprise had no clue about the alien ship when it showed up though, and they didn't bother to explain how/why their sensors didn't pick them up. And it's strange how they're portraying Sam Kirk. I saw someone mention he's like Guy from Galaxy Quest... and I think that's actually a fitting description. Oh, and Uhura has a tragic back story now... Because everyone in nu-Trek has to have a tragic back story it seems.
I signed up for Paramount+, got the $4.99 plan and intend to cancel it once I've watched SNW and Picard. It's annoying that I have to put up with ads, even after paying for a streaming service. Pay twice as much and the ads go away... no thinks. I'll tolerate it for now.

I had a few observations about episode 2:
Spoiler
- I enjoyed the communication method with the alien, via singing. It's a refreshing change from "hacking the computer" type scenarios that we often see, and is a lot more creative. It fits with the Star Trek ethos of communication and understanding. And it allows the writers to use Uhura's love of singing, which we saw in the original series, as part of the plot.
- Sam Kirk is a puzzle of a character. He's right there, asking Uhura questions and trying to nudge her to step up and do her part, acting the part of the more experienced crewmember helping the newbie. And then he turns right around and does something careless like mess with the alien egg despite several warnings. They did establish that the room had atmosphere when they first entered, so removing Kirk's helmet wasn't as chancy as it appeared.
- Pike having members of the crew over for dinner reminded me of Sisko doing the same thing, though as far as I can remember it was only one episode, while it's implied that Pike does this regularly.
- As far as Uhura's backstory goes, yes it's annoying that yet another crewmember has a lot of tragedy in their background. It's also annoying in a way that we learned more about Uhura in one episode here than we did for most of the original series. I couldn't help but wonder if Nichelle Nichols wouldn't have enjoyed a lot more to work with in terms of her character. I imagine so.
- I think the actress playing Uhura in SNW is believable as a younger version of Nichelle Nichols' character, they've done a good job with the casting there.
- I liked PIke's hair better in Discovery. That tall side-part on SNW is rather distracting. On the other hand, while we're on the subject of hair, I like that Spock's hair is slightly disheveled, as it was in the original pilot episode.
That's two episodes in a row that feel like they belong in a series named Star Trek. Nicely done. I could nitpick a few things, as I could with the first episode, but they're doing enough right that they've earned some goodwill I think.

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andersonh1
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Re: Star Trek

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Spoiler
Sparky Prime wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 1:07 am
Strange New Worlds season 1 episode 3

Sigh... I could probably name a half dozen episodes where they say they CANNOT keep something in the transporter buffer for more than a few minutes before the pattern begins to degrade. Scotty being the ONE exception to this, having jury-rigged a transporter in an unusual way that managed to preserve his pattern for 75 years, although it didn't work for his friend Franklin. And a Voyager episode established that repeated transporter suspension causes acute cellular degradation.
I agree, it doesn't take long for a pattern to degrade, so this should not be possible.

It's a good episode, and you summarized it well, so I'll just give a few thoughts.
- Number One not being human... well, it doesn't contradict anything stated on screen, so why not? Feels like a very familiar storyline in some ways given that we've seen Dr. Bashir deal with genetic augmentation, but that doesn't mean that every facet of what someone like that would experience has been explored, so I'm fine with it.
- The Illyrians don't look like they did in Enterprise. I thought that name sounded familiar, so I looked it up. I remember Archer stealing their warp drive or something during the whole 3rd season Xindi arc. I guess we can chalk the difference in appearance up to their genetic modifications producing different appearances for some of them.
-I like seeing the landing party wearing jackets like they did in "The Cage".
- the warp core/radiation stuff doesn't really make sense, I agree.
- It's interesting to me to see Spock as a regular in a series where he's clearly a subordinate to the Captain. Pike and Spock are friends, but it's not the same as Kirk and Spock, so it's a different way to look at the character. Ethan Peck is not really giving the same type of performance as Leonard Nimoy, but his interpretation is good in it's own way, and I'm willing to accept him as the character. Curious to see Kirk when I get that far.
- We've seen some unknown disease on board a ship or DS9 before, so it's a well-worn plotline, so it's the personal revelations and struggles of the characters that make the episode work for me.
Three good episodes out of three so far, though there are definitely flaws. But the overall show is working well. I like the characters, I enjoy the original series ship and uniforms, even if they're updated visually, and the show definitely feels like Star Trek.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

andersonh1 wrote:
Sun Jul 10, 2022 12:00 pm
I signed up for Paramount+, got the $4.99 plan and intend to cancel it once I've watched SNW and Picard. It's annoying that I have to put up with ads, even after paying for a streaming service. Pay twice as much and the ads go away... no thinks. I'll tolerate it for now.
Yeah, that's the annoying thing about Paramount+. For the most part, the ads don't bother me. A new show like Strange New Worlds it seems to only play three ads at the very beginning which isn't so bad. But I was watching some Voyager the other day and it had several ad breaks throughout the episode which really annoyed me. And so many other streaming services are ad free to begin with, and/or have a larger library.
Spoiler
- The Illyrians don't look like they did in Enterprise. I thought that name sounded familiar, so I looked it up. I remember Archer stealing their warp drive or something during the whole 3rd season Xindi arc. I guess we can chalk the difference in appearance up to their genetic modifications producing different appearances for some of them.
It would have been a nice nod to continuity if SNW acknowledged that they'd already appeared in Enterprise. And the genetic modifications would be a good excuse for why they looked so different. Assuming the writers even intended them to be the same race...

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