Star Trek

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andersonh1
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Re: Star Trek

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That's disappointing. I'd better finish the season while I can.
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds
season 2, episode 2

Spoiler
Una is offered a deal from Starfleet... If she agrees, the matter of her genetic manipulation will be dropped and she will not face any jail time, but she will be dishonorably discharged from Starfleet. Meanwhile, Pike stubbornly gets Neera, a Illyrian lawyer and former childhood friend of Una's, to agree to take the case. Una rejects the offer, so Captain Batel changes the sentence to 20 years in prison. Why is Captain Batel acting as the prosecution in this case? The trial is taking place on Earth, at Starfleet headquarters. Batel is in somewhat of a relationship with Pike, which would be a conflict of interest, and she's actively in command of her own ship. There is no reason Starfleet would choose her to be the prosecutor in this case.

The majority of the episode is the trial. I'm not going to cover all the arguments, but needless to say, the genetic modifications are used as an allegory for some modern day civil rights causes. For the most part I thought they did a decent job of it, but it kinda made it feel like Neera was throwing everything at the wall to see what would stick. I wish she stuck to one line of argument to make it feel like a stronger case. Ultimately, Una gets off on a technicality with the court interpreting her testimony as a request for asylum. It's disappointing because it feels like they side stepped the issue.
This episode reminded me a lot of TNG "The Measure Of A Man", albeit not written quite as well. Again, there was some good ideas here, but lacking on execution.
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds
season 2, episode 3

Spoiler
La'an is going about her job as ships security when she encounters a man wearing clothes from the 21st century stumbling in the corridor. He's been shot and pleads with her to complete his mission in the past to prevent a change to the timeline, handing her a device, before dying and a flash of light makes him disappear, the ship suddenly at red alert. On the bridge, she finds Captain Kirk in place of Captain Pike. I would have expected a few other crew members to change as well, but it's just Kirk. No one knows who La'an is. Dealing with a Vulcan ship, Captain Spock is requesting help from the "United Earth vessel" Enterprise in their fight against the Romulans, but Kirk says they cannot help him. Turning back to La'an, in private, she explains about the man she encountered believes she's from an alternate timeline. Kirk doesn't buy it, and they struggle over the device, accidentally sending them both back in time.

They end up in Toronto in the 21st century. After stealing some clothes, Kirk makes some money by playing chess in the park and begin comparing notes on what may have changed the timeline. Kirk is not sure he should do anything, happy with the timeline he came from, but La'an points out the Federation/Starfleet doesn't exist and Earth isn't a nuclear fallout wasteland in her timeline. A bridge is destroyed in a terrorist attack, and the pair take off after a van removing some evidence. La'an is surprised Kirk doesn't recognize her name, specifically the Noonien Singh part. Kirk didn't recognize the name in "Space Seed" either, but I doubt these writers are aware of this. So it probably should be a red flag for her with that changed in the timeline since everyone always reacts to the name because of her ancestor. They get pulled over by the police but saved from getting arrested by a conspiracy theorist woman. She explains her theory that some group has been holding human development back through various historical events and Kirk recognizes an image of a 23rd century Romulan Bird of Prey on her tablet. You'd think it should be a 29th century Romulan ship, since a 23rd century ship is still hundreds of years away from reliably being able to time travel...

Getting a glow in the dark watch (thanks to Pelia being on Earth in this century) to track down a fusion reactor (because that's not an event that happened in La'an's timeline) they find the building. La'an notices the name in the building is the Noonien-Singh Institute for Cultural Advancement. Turns out, she can unlock the door to a secure area on a hand scanner. She says it's probably because of a marker in her DNA. Conspiracy woman shows up thanking them for access to the building. Turns out, she is an undercover Romulan from the future and recognized Kirk, admitting they were behind holding humanity back. Killing Kirk, (which sets off the building's alarms but only 2 guards show up that she quickly shoots as well), she forces La'an to help her get to her target. The plan had been to blow up the reactor, but the real target is Khan. (so... Why would La'an be able to open the security doors if this is the place that created Khan, and is keeping him secured behind said doors?) La'an kills the Romulan and meets Khan (who is just a child at this point), before returning to the future, where things are back to normal. A Department of Temporal Investigations agent meets her in her quarters, telling her not to ever discuss the matter with anyone, and takes back the device she got at the start of the episode before returning to the future.

La'an has brief conversation with James Kirk, making sure he's alright in this timeline, having developed a brief relationship with the alternate timeline version of him.
I want to like this episode... For the most part it was a fun time travel episode. But again, the writing just doesn't feel well thought out, or goes against established canon without any explanations.
Spoiler
Cool to see the computer graphics from the time traveler's device is based on the graphics from the 29th century seen in Voyager. I also liked that they reveal the Romulans have been using time travel to slow human progression. I always liked the idea that "Future Guy" in Enterprise was a Romulan, so I hope the intention here is to indicate the Romulan involvement in the Temporal War.

Not sure how Spock exists in the altered timeline. Given the Federation doesn't exist, and Vulcans don't have a relationship with Earth in this timeline, I don't see how his parents would have ended up together. For that matter... Why does the Enterprise still exist if the Romulans successfully held back human development?

I'm wondering if they're going to use time travel to explain that the creation of Khan and the Eugenics War happened much later in the timeline now. Or if they're just going to gloss over this fact... There is a throwaway line from the Romulan about how all these events were supposed to have happened in 1992, and she'd been trapped on Earth in the past for 30 years as a result... But again, this lacks any explanation as to how the events of Khan's birth and the Eugenics War still happened, only 30 years later.
Last edited by Sparky Prime on Mon Jul 10, 2023 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds
season 2, episode 4

Spoiler
Pike has dinner with Captain Batel just as she learns her promotion to commodore has gone to someone else. She suspects it's because she lost the case against Una. Pike blames himself and isn't happy they only get minutes together every so often. He suggests they break things off so that he can't hurt her career anymore, which she doesn't take well and returns to her ship. Enterprise is sent to Rigel VII because surveillance of the planet shows the inhabitants have started using the Starfleet delta logo following a botched mission a few years ago. Pike takes La'an and M'Benga down to the planet to investigate the level of cultural contamination. Ortegas is supposed to go as well, but when they detect a nearby debris field, she has to stay on Enterprise.

The away team discovers the source of the cultural contamination is a crewmember they'd left behind on their last visit, having thought he'd been killed in action. Having become king, he explains a radiation from an asteroid causes people to loose their memories on this planet, and jails them outside the palace. Sure enough, they loose their memories, but they still recognize things don't add up and that they don't belong here. They learn that people in the palace keep their memoires, and when La'an is injured, they decide they have to regain their memoires so M'Benga can help her. Meanwhile, Enterprise is experiencing the same memory problems and Spock orders them into the asteroid field, suspecting the source of the radiation is the planet. This feels out of character for Spock... It's not like him to make assumptions like this and not verify the actual source of the radiation prior to making a decision.

Pike storms the palace and beats up king Zac. Zac says he should have realized Pike would start a revolution, even without his memories. He explains that his memories will soon return, the palace is built with an ore that protects them from the radiation. Sure enough, Pike is back to normal, and realizes Rigel VII doesn't change people, it shows them who they really are. Meanwhile, Ortegas pilots the Enterprise back out of the debris field and Spock somehow comes up with shield harmonics that blocks the radiation. Pike decides to remove the asteroid from the planet, reasoning it doesn't go against the Prime Directive because it wasn't a natural event (... I don't even know what to say to this, of course an asteroid impact is a natural event.) Pike apologizes to Captain Batel, his recent experience making him realize any time they have together is worth it.
I'm disappointed by what they did, or rather, the lack of what they did with Ortegas in this episode. After a season and (nearly) a half, she's still had zero characterization. Unless you count her apparent hatred towards Romulans in the season 1 finale, but because that was stolen from a character in TOS, and was an alternative timeline, I'm not sure that actually counts for Ortegas. They sort of set things up to put a focus on her in this episode, she even gets a couple of log entries. But the only thing they highlight about her is that she's the ships pilot. I sort of get the impression maybe they were trying to show she wants to do more than just flying the ship by showing her disappointment on missing out on the away mission, but they reduce her to literally only knowing she flies the ship. It undercut any characterization they may have intended to give her character.

The rest of the episode felt pretty weak to me. It was kinda cool that it follows up on something from "The Cage" but, like every episode in this season thus far, I don't think it was executed very well. This one nearly put me to sleep. And the tinnitus sound was super annoying.
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds
season 2, episode 5

Spoiler
Enterprise is investigating a moon in Vulcan's solar system where a race known as the Kerkhovians once lived and mysteriously disappeared eons ago. Given Vulcans have had space travel for hundreds of years, I'd have thought this would have already been studied to great detail... But it gives Spock the opportunity to meet up with his fiancée and for Nurse Chapel to interview for a fellowship on Vulcan. While doing a flyby of the moon however, their shuttle is sucked into an energy vortex (why wasn't that ever noticed before?). Spock was apparently gravely injured but healed by the Kerkhovians (who now exist as energy beings in another dimension on the other side of the vortex), but they didn't understand his biology, and have removed his Vulcan DNA, making him fully human.

Spock adjusts to being fully human, while Chapel and M'Benga attempt to figure out how to restore Spock's Vulcan DNA. But then T'Pring tells Spock her mother wants to immediately hold a Vulcan ceremony because she doesn't like Spock (because he's half human) and wants to use it as an excuse to disapprove of the wedding (as I recall in TOS, isn't this an arranged marriage their parents had already agreed upon when they were kids? Why is this ceremony a thing at this point?). Oddly, we get a montage of various crewmembers teaching Spock how to be Vulcan... I mean, Spock didn't forget how to be Vulcan, he's just had all of his Vulcan inhibitions removed.

Spock is forced to pretend he's still Vulcan, with some guidance from his mother, while Chapel, Uhura and Ortegas go back to the the energy vortex to ask the Kerkhovians how to get Spock back to normal. The Kerkhovians apparently have some deadline about grievances, and don't understand Chapel's relationship with Spock that she'd be asking for this. She eventually gets them to give her something that'll restore Spock. But Spock decides to tell T'Pring's parents he was actually human during this whole ceremony, and praises his mother for the stigma she faces from Vulcans. T'Pring later suggests they take a break, since Spock didn't trust her enough to tell her about his condition. Chapel is rejected by the Vulcan Science Academy, but given her recent experience, she's happy remaining on the Enterprise. She and Spock later share a kiss.
I hate to sound like a broken record but I think the writers could have done so much better with it. Spock has (sorta) been struggling to re-contain his emotions since the end of season 1, so I'm not sure why the writers seemed to think they needed let his emotions out again, albeit in a different way. We've sort of seen this scenario in Star Trek before
Spoiler
when B'Elanna was split into a full Klingon and a full human in the episode "Faces". Only, that was so much more interesting because we got to see how the two halves reacted to their situations as well as each other. Here... Spock as a full human is just played off for laughs and we never really get a sense of how he feels about the situation, beyond that he seems to enjoy getting to feel his emotions for a bit. But we don't really get a sense of if Spock himself wants his Vulcan half back or not, he only seems to want it back for the sake of his marriage to T'Pring. Speaking of T'Pring... Her father was the least Vulcan acting Vulcan I've ever seen. He kept getting excited for things, only to rein it in when his wife would point out the flaw with whatever.

Oh, and the relationship between Spock and Chapel... They've been building up towards this since the first season, but I don't understand why these two established characters. There was never a hint that the two had a relationship in TOS as far as I'm aware, and I find it a little hard to believe it'd never come up.
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andersonh1
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Re: Star Trek

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Sparky Prime wrote: Sat Jul 15, 2023 12:29 am
Spoiler
Oh, and the relationship between Spock and Chapel... They've been building up towards this since the first season, but I don't understand why these two established characters. There was never a hint that the two had a relationship in TOS as far as I'm aware, and I find it a little hard to believe it'd never come up.
It was very one sided on the original series, with Chapel pining for Spock but Spock unable or unwilling to reciprocate. These modern writers always seem to want to pair Spock up with someone. It's Uhura in the movies and Chapel in this series, which in my opinion diminishes the character morally. In Amok Time it was T'Pring who had been unfaithful to Spock, with no indication that he had ever been unfaithful to her.
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Re: Star Trek

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andersonh1 wrote: Sat Jul 15, 2023 7:23 amIt was very one sided on the original series, with Chapel pining for Spock but Spock unable or unwilling to reciprocate. These modern writers always seem to want to pair Spock up with someone. It's Uhura in the movies and Chapel in this series, which in my opinion diminishes the character morally. In Amok Time it was T'Pring who had been unfaithful to Spock, with no indication that he had ever been unfaithful to her.
I'd decided to look up Chapel's biography after writing that post. She also had a fiancée, Roger Korby, who disappeared in 2261. SNW takes place in 2259, so you'd think she'd be involved with him during this show. Chapel also said in TOS she left a position in bio-research for a position with Starfleet in the hopes she'd find Korby while on a deep space assignment. So... Wouldn't that mean she shouldn't be in Starfleet or on the Enterprise yet? Let alone know Spock.

I didn't get why they chose to pair up Spock and Uhura in the JJ films either. I've seen some people point out how there were some scenes in TOS where Uhura would sing while Spock played his instrument or whatever, so I guess there could be something made out of that... Problem with that being the JJ films never capitalized on anything like that, so it still felt like they pulled that relationship from no where.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by andersonh1 »

Sparky Prime wrote: Sat Jul 15, 2023 6:22 pmI didn't get why they chose to pair up Spock and Uhura in the JJ films either. I've seen some people point out how there were some scenes in TOS where Uhura would sing while Spock played his instrument or whatever, so I guess there could be something made out of that... Problem with that being the JJ films never capitalized on anything like that, so it still felt like they pulled that relationship from no where.
There are a couple of early episodes where Uhura could be read as flirting with Spock, "The Man Trap" (that one's a bit of a stretch, but you could read it that way) and certainly in Charlie X where she's improvising lyrics about Spock as he plays his Vulcan lyre, and he's clearly smiling a bit. Neither implies that the two were in any sort of romantic relationship, and both are probably just Uhura being playful and showing some characterization, but the movie writers took that and ran with it and turned it into a full relationship. And since it's a different continuity, that's fine, but it's certainly nothing but hints and a few scenes in the original series.

The Man Trap scene:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRg8D8Bcr7EY

Charlie X:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDTS8U0Uawk
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds
season 2, episode 6

Spoiler
Enterprise along with the Farragut arrives at a nebula to oversee the repairs of a deuterium refinery. Uhura, exhausted from all the work coordinating these efforts, hears a sound that no one else notices, which also eventually starts to involve hallucinations. M'Benga sees nothing physically wrong with her, beyond the physical exhaustion and some elevated activity in part of her brain. James Kirk beams over to the Enterprise greeting his brother. Uhura once again urges to Chapel and Spock something is amiss. Chapel agrees with M'Benga's diagnosis, but James Kirk decides to help Uhura look into whatever is causing the noise/hallucinations.

Meanwhile on the refinery, Pelia reports to Una that someone is sabotaging it, explaining why they haven't been able to keep any of the systems online. Turns out to be a guy suffering from the same symptoms as Uhura, but he's gone insane as a result. He gets loose on Enterprise and ends up blowing up part of the control room of the port nacelle. Uhura realizes the hallucinations are an attempt at communication. She and James Kirk talk to Sam Kirk, who speculates that extradimensional aliens may have bonded to deuterium atoms, and are being killed by their fuel refinery process. Informing Pike, they quickly evacuate the refinery and destroy it, Uhura seeing one last hallucinations, confirming they've done the right thing. Back at the crew lounge, Uhura introduces James Kirk to Spock.
This episode somewhat reminded me of TNG "Night Terrors", and "The Loss". It was a slight improvement over the last few episodes, but still had issues...
Spoiler
In TOS, Kirk mentioned he'd only met Captain Pike once, just after his promotion to Fleet Captain. This episode is apparently that very meeting. And while I have to credit the writers with paying attention to that bit of continuity... they did it in the laziest possible way. Pike is only temporarily promoted to Fleet Captain for this one episode, simply to oversee the repairs to the refinery. It doesn't have the same connotation that TOS puts forth. I'm also not sure why Kirk even beams over to the Enterprise. Obviously he visits with his brother and ends up helping Uhura, but you'd think given this mission at hand, he should be busy either on his own ship or on the refinery.

They never actually explained why the aliens only "communicated" with Uhura and the guy that was on the refinery. I mean, it was always Troi in TNG because of her empathic abilities, but these two were normal humans. So why them, out of the hundreds of other people?

Uhura convincing Pike to abandon the refinery was very weak. She had no real evidence to give Pike, just a theory based on her hallucinations and I don't buy that Pike (or any captain) would make a decision based on that alone. I expected when she and James went to talk to Sam prior to talking to Pike that he'd find some evidence to support her idea, but all he gave them was more theories and conjecture.

I have to wonder if the writers know what deuterium actually is. M'Benga suspects Uhura may have deuterium poisoning, accidently exposed to some while in the nacelle control room.... But deuterium is heavy water, D2O. It would take a significant amount to actually poison her.

Speaking of the nacelle control room, why are the communications systems routed through the nacelles? Have the writers never looked at the ships specs?

Couple of references to the 2009 film... James Kirk and Uhura first meet in a bar, albeit on the Enterprise rather than on Earth. And unlike the film, Kirk makes it clear he is not trying to hit on her. The Kirk brothers also talk about their dad, referencing his time as first officer on the Kelvin, and that he's still alive in this timeline.
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Re: Star Trek

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Strange New Worlds
season 2, episode 7


I guess because this episode was premiered at SDCC yesterday, they decided to surprise release it for everybody on Paramount+ as well. This is the SNW/LD crossover episode.
Spoiler
The Cerritos is visiting Krulmuth-B to check on a time portal that hasn't seen any activity in about 120 years, since the Enterprise first visited the planet. Mariner, Boimler, Tendi and Rutherford beam down to check it out, when it activates after Rutherford takes a holo-picture of Boimler, who subsequently gets pulled into the portal where he meets the Enterprise crew. He freaks out about meeting the crew (and has a difficult time trying not to change the past in typical Boimler fashion), as they work to study the portal to send him back to his own time, but it gets stolen by Orion pirates. They track the Orions down and trade the portal for grain that is meant for some colonists. They determine the portal uses horonium (and apparently Nausicaans built it originally), and that there is enough for one return trip... which Mariner inadvertently uses to travel back in time as well. The crew attempts to synthesize more horonium, but it explodes. Pike is ready to hand Mariner and Boimler off to Starbase 1, when the pair remember the NX-01 used horonium in its construction. As is apparently tradition, a small amount from the NX-01 was used in the construction of this Enterprise, giving them the horonium to reactive the portal and send the pair back to their own time. They also come to an understanding with the Orions, who as it turns out just want to be scientists. During Pike's surprise birthday celebration, drinking some Orion hurricanes that Mariner introduced them to, the Enterprise crew freaks out about feeling so... Two-dimensional as this entire scene is animated.
This was a great episode. Finally. You can tell both the Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds crews had a lot of fun making this episode. It was interesting seeing both animation and live action. Jack Quaid did a great job replicating the mannerisms of his animated counterpart. Little disappointed we only got to see him and Mariner in live action. Would have been cool to see more of the Lower Decks cast. The opening credit sequence was also animated for this episode, and had a few references to Lower Decks, such as the giant space slug attacking the Enterprise. Overall, just a well done fun episode. Easily the best episode of this season. They need to bring the Lower Decks writers over to SNW more often.

Interestingly, the Lower Decks crew made some references to visiting the Fleet Museum.
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