Star Trek

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andersonh1
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Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

Spoiler
Sparky Prime wrote:
Thu May 26, 2022 4:30 pm
This episode was reminiscent of DS9's "Starship Down" and TNG's "Disaster". It's good that they're taking inspiration from previous Star Trek series, but two weeks in a row borrowing plots from previous Star Treks? Don't get me wrong, this was a really good episode, I just hope this doesn't become a crutch for them.
I'm only about 15 minutes into the episode (my wife fusses if I watch without her and she had to leave partway through) so I haven't gone through your spoiler section, but I agree with this. "Starship Down" is the first thing I thought of when they took the Enterprise into the cloud to hide, and we had different people in different areas of the ship each dealing with their own crisis. I suspect with as many Star Trek episodes as there are, it's hard not to repeat some plots at this point, so it will all be down to how well they tell the story. Interesting to see the Gorn actually brought into the show and not just left as backstory for La'an. Will they adhere to continuity and not have anyone actually see them? We'll see.

Edit: so the episode is a combination of Arena and Starship Down, meaning we've seen this plot before. But it can still work well if the characters and their situations are interesting to watch and make good drama, and in this case they do. All of the subplots work well, and I particularly enjoy seeing Spock, even though it's not Leonard Nimoy, playing off of different characters than Kirk and McCoy. It offers some different sides to the character than we normally see. I have no idea how the physics of the situation would actually work, I suspect a black hole would take a long time to suck up a star, but the drama called for rapidly diminishing cover, so that's fine. This felt like a submarine movie with depth and pressure being a threat just as the enemy ships were.

The show is four for four. I doubt I'd give it an A overall, though some aspects are exactly right, but maybe a B+. It loses a few marks for reusing old plots and themes (though doing it well) and some iffy plot decisions, such as Una's system fighting radiation and aliens building a warp bomb from seeing ships in space. But then I might bump it back up for a good cast, great visuals, and really getting the feel of Star Trek right. Maybe an A-. We'll see how the rest of the season goes, but it's been very enjoyable so far.

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andersonh1
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Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

Sparky Prime wrote:
Thu Jun 02, 2022 11:46 am
Strange New Worlds season 1 episode 5
Spoiler
Enterprise returns to Starbase 1 for repairs following their encounter with the Gorn in the previous episode. It's noted this is the oldest Starbase and is newly repaired following the Klingon war... Which raises a few continuity issues. This Starbase looks nothing like the "Starbase 1" that was shown in Discovery. Discovery also stated that Starbase 1 was 100au from Earth, which would place it well outside the solar system, but this starbase is shown to be in orbit of Jupiter. Discovery had showed it in orbit of what appeared to be an M class planet, which given the dialogue was ridiculous. And why would it only just now be noted to be newly repaired? Enterprise docked here at the end of the first episode.

At any rate, the crew is able to take shore leave. Spock meets with his fiancée T’Pring, and is concerned he isn't Vulcan enough for her. After a diplomatic assignment runs over causing Spock to miss dinner with her, and a chat with nurse Chapel, they undertake a Vulcan ritual to share their katra's, but end up trapped in each others bodies. And forces them to carry out each others job. Number One and Lt. Noonien-Singh catch some ensigns playing "Enterprise Bingo", and decide to play it themselves, after Dr. M'Benga had let it slip Number One's nickname is "Where Fun Goes to Die" (I think they could have come up with something better) earlier in the episode. The last thing on the list is to sign "the Scorch", the oldest piece of hull on the Enterprise... Which is on a section of the forward saucer that got blown up in Discovery. They also project a forcefield around themselves in order to walk out there with out space suits, which I feel is a little too advanced for this era. And Pike concludes the diplomatic session by realizing they negotiate by seeing things from the other parties perspective, so he looks at it from their concerns, which apparently gets them to align with the Federation.
Overall, this was a fun light-hearted episode. I'm not sure if the writers of this episode were trying to fix some of the shoddy writing from Discovery in regards to Starbase 1. It makes much more sense in this episode than it did in Discovery at any rate, but it causes some dis-continuity between the shows. And for the 3rd week in a row, we sorta get an episode that evokes a previous series episode... This episode being "Spock Amok" calls back to "Amok Time". Albeit not to the same degree as the previous 2 episodes did.... But we get a pretty long kal-if-fee sequence at the start of the episode. I guess they're sorta setting up why Spock's relationship with T’Pring eventually ends the way it does in TOS, but then they end up understanding each other better than ever by the end of the episode, which sends some mixed messages.
It's kind of sad watching Spock and T'Pring working on their relationship, knowing how it will ultimately end badly. Some of the material is actually quite good, with two people who try to make what is essentially a long-distance relationship work when they're both committed to what they have chosen to spend their lives doing. I didn't expect this series to involve T'Pring until I started watching it, but I think the writers made a good choice to use the character and to explore some of Spock's personal life. I like the glimpses of emotion from Spock from time to time, both as a reference back to The Cage and a reminder that he's half-human. The kal-if-fee sequence down to the original series music was a great reference, and I'm glad to see this series is not afraid to just embrace some aspects of the original series, even though sensibilities now are quite different than they were in the 1960s. And I like how light and breezy most of this episode feels. The show works with dark and dramatic episode four followed by a "catch your breath and have fun" episode five. Even the serious relationship drama between Spock and T'Pring is livened up by the hijinks of them switching bodies. I'm glad this show doesn't take itself so seriously that the writers would shoot down a silly idea like that. They take it and run with it and it's a lot of fun.

And Pike gets the wraparound Captain's uniform that Kirk wore from time to time (with no explanation). Cool. Although I would note that Kirk actually had two, one in the first season with rank markers on his shoulders, and another for the second season.

In some ways, this is the same type of plot as last episode, except the common theme is "free time" rather than disaster, so we get to see the crew members all given their own storylines where they get some downtime rather than responding to stress and danger. It's a nice change from the typical A/B plot that 90s Trek often relied on to have multiple storylines going on, an A/B/C/D/E plot structure. Even just seeing M'Benga get 30 seconds in his fishing hat, clearly having a great time, tells us something about the character that we didn't know. I've watched a number of original series episodes lately, and it's interesting to me just how often the entire 50 minutes centers around one plotline, or if there is a B story, it's tiny compared to the main plot. It's a completely different writing style than we got in TNG/DS9/Voyager.

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Re: Star Trek

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Episode 1 of Picard season 2 was really good. I liked the first season despite having problems with some of the storytelling choices, and my guess is that I'm going to have a similar reaction to this season. I've seen enough spoilers to know who the Borg Queen is, but even if I hadn't, the way they hide her face made it clear that it was someone we should know under the mask. Nice to see that Picard's crew from last season have mostly landed on their feet and are in better situations than they were, some in Starfleet, and that Picard seems happier at the vineyard than he was. I hate to see that Zhaban is dead, I liked the character quite a bit. Laris does realize how old Picard is, doesn't she? She's liable to be a widow again very soon if he does show some interest in her! I enjoyed the new Stargazer and of course the appearance of Q at the end of the episode, briefly looking as he always has before making himself old to "match" Picard (and account for John DeLancie's age). Nice to see Guinan too, though I'm not sure I buy the "this is how El-Aurians age, really" explanation.

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

andersonh1 wrote:
Mon Jul 18, 2022 4:22 am
I hate to see that Zhaban is dead, I liked the character quite a bit. Laris does realize how old Picard is, doesn't she? She's liable to be a widow again very soon if he does show some interest in her!
I hated this plot point. Picard and Laris don't make sense as a couple. Age gap being a part of it, but it literally comes out of no where, seeing as they killed off Zhaban off screen between seasons just so they could hint at this relationship without developing it at all. I thought they might do a Dr. Crusher parallel, with Picard feeling guilty about being in love with his dead friend's wife... But nope, Picard apparently doesn't have any problems with that this time. Instead, they explain Picard can't commit to a relationship because of some unknown childhood trauma. Ignoring he'd committed to relationships before, but they didn't last because of his career.

They should have brought someone else from Picard's past back if they wanted to give Picard a love interest rather than trying to force a relationship between him and Laris.
Nice to see Guinan too, though I'm not sure I buy the "this is how El-Aurians age, really" explanation.
Yeah, this was a weak explanation for Whoopi Goldberg's real world aging. I feel like they could have figured out a better explanation. Or used some de-aging CGI on her like they did with Q.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by Shockwave »

I actually enjoyed season 2 of Picard more than season one. I also feel like it had a nice ending that wrapped things up with Q and Picard perfectly.

I've also really enjoyed Strange New Worlds and I foresee this turning into a new version of TOS. Pike knowing his future is weird, but it lead to an interesting season finale that gave us some good ideas so I'm very interested to see this going forward. Right now, it's my favorite currently produced Trek.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by Sparky Prime »

SDCC teaser trailer for Picard season 3.

Thank goodness they didn't give Worf the Klinorc redesign.

Lower Decks season 3 trailer

Nice to see DS9 getting some love

Edit: And it was tweeted that Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks are going to do a crossover.... Somehow.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

Nice to see the TNG cast again. I hope the story is worth their return, because I can't imagine we'll see them all together again after this.
Spoiler
SNW Episode 6 - Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach - It's the Cloud Minders, except rather than a two-tiered society with one of privilege and the other trapped in hard labor, it's a privileged society built on the suffering of one child. This episode didn't do as much for me, though it had some good character moments. We get the Prime Directive from the other side when M'Benga is turned down by the more advanced society. We get Pike making a romantic connection from his past, which is completely turned on its head when he learns the truth about this society. It was an okay episode, but not the best.

SNW Episode 7 - The Serene Squall - a big improvement, though I have to say, the longer this season goes on, the less and less I like how light-hearted Anson Mount is playing Pike. He's a very no-nonsense character in The Cage, and that carries over to Discovery and the early episodes of SNW, but he's been going broader and more comic and less serious as the season goes on, and I don't care for it. The Captain needs to be taken seriously, and I don't feel that he really is at the moment, with his comic "cook for the bad guys and stage a mutiny" routine. Otherwise the episode was pretty strong, and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how often and how well T'Pring is being written and employed as a character, something I did not expect. And Sybok making an appearance would be great. If they can take all these other one or two appearance TOS characters and develop them, why not Sybok? I see Stonn making an early appearance too. It's only a matter of time until he starts putting the moves on T'Pring, which makes all her time with Spock sad, as I said, since we know where it ends up.

I didn't care at all for Captain Angel. They seemed to be trying to write her as someone who we should sympathize with who made a connection with Spock, but it didn't work for me at all. The Orion second in command was fun, but I don't think there's a lot of mileage to be had from the pirate crew. Hopefully this is the last we see of them.

SNW Episode 8 - The Elysian Kingdom - While I greatly enjoyed the pairing of Hemmer and Dr. M'Benga, and the quicker than expected resolution of the plotline about his daughter, we've only got ten episodes in the season. Should one of them really be wasted like this on the equivalent of a holodeck episode, with all the regulars playing other characters? One one level it was fun, on another it felt inconsequential and meaningless, and it really didn't work well for me. I do appreciate how the daughter's illness and the storybook were set up in several earlier episodes, but this whole thing felt like a misstep to me, one that wouldn't be as much of a problem in the old style 26 episode season we used to get on broadcast tv.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

Spoiler
SNW ep 9 - All Those Who Wander - I'm trying to picture these vicious, fast, lethal Gorn in this episode growing up to be the slow, lumbering, far more humanoid alien who fought Kirk. I'm also trying to figure out how such a vicious, violent species ever developed enough of a civilization to build spacecraft. Don't get me wrong, I like that the Gorn are finally getting some focus and development, but I don't think it all fits together very well so far. As for the episode itself, it's "Alien" in a Star Trek setting and works very well. It's a shame that they killed Hemmer off, I liked the character quite a bit. But I guess Scotty has to join the show sometime, and hopefully Lee Kelso (from "Where No Man Has Gone Before") as well, if we're taking one episode characters and developing them. Speaking of which, what exactly is the point of Sam Kirk being on this show? He rarely shows up, and when he does he's not much use to the plot. I'm honestly not sure what role he's meant to play in this series. I liked this episode quite a bit, I just question some of the creative choices in the series.

Picard episode 2 - Penance - lots of interesting things in this episode, from the Borg Queen being aware that time has been altered to Q being back to a more dangerous person like he was in Encounter at Farpoint. He's not tolerating Picard talking back to him for very long, and the idea that he's unwell is quite intriguing. I've seen enough spoilers to know that he's dying, so I'm not in the dark about his condition, so do they ever explain how exactly a Q can die, other than becoming mortal and committing suicide, as the one in Voyager did? The fascist world is one that we all know will be undone when all is said and done, but it's still a tense and nightmarish place for our main characters to be stuck in. That's two good episodes in a row as far as I'm concerned. Curious to see where all of this is going.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

SNW 10 - A Quality of Mercy -

I have really mixed feelings about this one.
Spoiler
- on the one hand, it's interesting to see portions of "Balance of Terror" recreated and played out differently, in a "what if" scenario. Nice to see Kirk involved in the scenario as well. How would this situation play out if Pike wasn't promoted to fleet captain and was still captain of the Enterprise? The appearance of an older Pike in the movie-era uniform is a nice touch to really sell the scenario.
- on the other hand, it seems to me that putting Pike in the position where the message of the episode is that it's better for the galaxy if he is removed from the picture and where his way, the Federation way, to attempt negotiation and peace over war is the wrong thing to do makes the central character of the series look weak and ineffective. We rarely see a Trek Captain make the wrong call and have it end in such a disastrous way, and there's a reason for that. Kirk is right, sometimes you can't avoid a fight. Pike should be able to make that call. I think the writers seriously sabotaged the character here.
- I honestly thought Pike was written better in Discovery than he has been on his own show. A captain of a ship needs to create some distance from the crew and maintain strict discipline. I think Roddenberry, who had been in the military, understood this and you see it with Kirk in the original series. He's serious, he enforces the rules on his ship, and he generally follows them unless there is a compelling reason not to. He doesn't fraternize with the crew. Only McCoy and sometimes Spock get to use his first name (and very rarely, Scotty), and even their friendship takes a back seat to the discipline of the service. And since he's out on the frontier in dangerous space, a long way from help and backup, it's within his prerogative to make judgment calls in the absence of clear guidance from command. My impression is that Jeffrey Hunter's Pike was written and played in much the same way. But Anson Mount's Pike is written here as the crew's pal or father figure, and it just never rings true to me. I didn't find that to be the case in Discovery. I seriously think SNW is undermining it's main character. I think the writers would do well to research the military and maybe read some of Roddenberry's inspirations for Kirk, like the Horatio Hornblower series, and apply some of those character traits to Pike. He doesn't need to be "dad", he needs to be the Captain.
- So parts of this episode were very good (often the parts taken from the older episode, sadly, demonstrating that the 60s writers were far better than the current ones) and parts of it were problematic. I enjoyed it on one level, and at the same time was shaking my head at many of the character choices.
- The cliffhanger was good, however, with Una arrested by Pike's girlfriend and fellow captain. I do want to see how they deal with that next season.
Overall, 10 episodes is a very short season. I like the approach of self-contained episode plots mixed with ongoing character storylines. The visuals are an aesthetically pleasing update to the original series designs, if taken further away from them than I would prefer. I can at least see the inspiration. The characters are well-acted and most of them get some good material from time to time, though not all. It's a good attempt at a traditional Star Trek series, though there is room for improvement.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by Shockwave »

andersonh1 wrote:
Mon Jul 25, 2022 5:49 pm
though there is room for improvement.
Like just about every first season of every tv show ever. But especially Star Trek.

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