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Saggy
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#181

Posted 03 October 2017 - 06:41 AM

 

Besides that, I think this over-exerted effort to make this series seem grittier and darker than Star Treks before it might be betraying what makes Star Trek unique to other science fiction shows. There's a certain element of Star Trek being a "feel good" TV show that I don't see having much room to exist in this incarnation. In previous Star Treks there's always been this underlying notion that people's pasts don't define their present character (Tom Paris, Belona Torres, for a couple examples ) and it appeals to the idea that people are good and will aspire to do the right thing.  With this you get the distinct feeling that there is no certainty that Star Fleet is on the moral high ground, or that there really is any avenue for the character to redeem themselves in what's basically a war.  Again not to sound overly critical, but resting on the theater of war to point out human and moral conflicts is played out too.

I do understand this fear, or concern rather, but I hope (and think) that we will see that hope and optimism isn't something that we need cheery lighting and warm, neutral color pallets for.  My opinion after 3 episodes isn't super-well informed, but I'm on board.  If this show goes south, I'm willing to admit it and to call it for what it is, but I still have hope that we're seeing a new way to present the same message, one that is more in-line with all the other shows that it's competing against, as that one of the main reasons for the changes, so it can be a competitive product.  

"Context is for Kings" feels a lot more like a standard Trek episode, it has a beginning, middle and an end and they solve a problem.  They answered a bunch of questions, used most of the released clips, and still planted even more deeper mysteries to explore over the next months.  I think meeting Lorca, Stamets, Landry and Tilly is really coming home for the first time, in a lot of ways this was the "true" pilot as the other 2 episodes were more like prequels, background info that you don't necessarily need to be a prime witness too (however entertaining that witnessing was).  

 

The more I watch the more I do honestly wish this had been set possibly 100 years after Nemesis. They wouldn't need any changes, the new uniforms, tech and ships would just be accepted and the Klingons could have gone into isolation for the last hundred years.  But this isn't what CBS gave us, and i can only hope that with the success of Discovery we get more opportunities to explore different timelines for Star Trek.  

 

 

Yeah I think I'm seeing a lot of similarities with Voyager in the whole "Context is King" subtext. Reminds me of the Tuvix incident. I think that's a pretty contentious part of the show with most viewers, but basically the pragmaticism of Janeway deciding to end a sentient, individual life because she couldn't afford to lose her first officer is probably one of the major "flaws" people have pointed out with Janeway, but I think this series is going to show a lot more of Star Trek in a "by any  means necessary context".

 

Another way to think about it is looking at TNG when Picard had the chance to destroy the borg but didn't.  He chose the altruistic high road at Gainan's behest.  But in TNG, the borg was basically the only substantial enemy and it didn't really pose that significant a threat to their survival because the federation was still so powerful in that setting. There basically wasn't a way to reconcile a decision like that with the federation being on the supposed "moral highground". I think that's what Voyager was trying to pick away at, especially with the Macqui ( sp?), but it just never got executed well.

 

Maybe this is a chance of a do-over.  I just hope they don't lose side of the fact that even though this is the formative years when Star fleet was young, that there still had to be some kind of "founding principles" to have lead to what they were in the TNG and TOS.

 

 

You know what I find most awkward still when I really think about it?  Michael Burrman is the main character...  I don't think there's really been a Star Trek with a "main character" before, and even if you could consider someone a main-character, they were usually in the main leadership position.  Meanwhile you have all this subtext about her supposedly being such a great officer, being groomed by her former captain, and then of course the fact that she's a "mutineer" and their current captain on the Discovery doesn't seem well liked.  I feel like the theme of mutiny will crop up again.

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#182

Posted 04 October 2017 - 01:10 AM

...okay, random thought that's been bugging me, particularly as of the most recent episode:

Why is Michael Burnham such a pariah? And come to think of it, a life sentence is a bit much, no? I mean, it's not like she started the war or anything - nor did her attempted mutiny really factor into how everything subsequently panned out.

 

And yeah, she killed T'Kuvma, making him into a martyr in the very manner she said should be avoided - but he'd just killed her commanding officer. And that's after T'Kuvma's fleet had launched an unprovoked attack on the Starfleet ships, which ...could easily be declared an act of war.

 

But then, I'm still a bit iffy about the glib way the whole 'Vulcan hello' was handled (sure, Vulcan ships made sure to fire first when encountering Klingons - why did no-one follow up by asking "yeah, but how many of those Vulcan ships got blown to smithereens before the Klingons started respecting the gesture?" - ?


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#183

Posted 04 October 2017 - 02:53 AM Edited by AlienTwo, 04 October 2017 - 02:58 AM.

I'm honestly not sure why she's "credited" with starting the war. She mutineed, but only briefly before Georgiou got control back. Maybe it's a future plot point...

I honestly don't think she could have changed anything, even with the Vulcan Hello... the whole reason the Klinks were out there was T'Kuvma's plan... i.e., to start a war.

Lorca... he's an interesting chap. A Tribble, Gorn Skeleton and what looked like Cardassian voles seemed to decorate his little menagire along with "kitty." I'm looking for to more screen-time from him and his fortune cookies.

Edit: just watched it with captioning on, those three convicts names made me laugh "Stone" for bald whitey, "Cold" for younger whitey and "Psycho" for that freckled Asian girl.

Stone cold psycho, man.

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#184

Posted 04 October 2017 - 03:12 PM

I think part of the contempt for Michael is definitely teasing us for a potential mutiny event down the line.  The idea is to make her seem like an unlikely person to get behind, but then have her gradually prove herself over the series, while the current captain's choices continue to remain unpopular until "Something has to be done," and they question, "Who should lead the mutiny?" and of course...  Star Fleet's original mutineer!

 

Just my prediction.


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#185

Posted 04 October 2017 - 03:17 PM

I just watched Context again with subtitles... fun fact, the three cons on the shuttle at the beginning were named "Stone", "Cold" and "Psycho."


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#186

Posted 09 October 2017 - 08:02 AM Edited by Commander S, 09 October 2017 - 08:02 AM.

...aargh, the lack of professionalism on every Starfleet ship in this show is just infuriating... :facedesk:

 

That, and people making really, really idiotic judgment calls in order to drive the plot - that's a really iffy approach to storytelling in general (unless, of course, you're doing the Baby Driver thing of having the plot hinge on people snapping/screwing up/screwing each other over, and the presentation frame it as being an acknowledged screw-up - that's entirely good and valid!), but it becomes all the more glaring when combined with my previous complaint. How did half of this lot even graduate from the frigging Academy?

 

And on top of that, yeah, I'm starting to find the  v e r y  l a b o u r e d  K l i n g o n  d i a l o g u e  a real ball and chain on the pacing of those scenes - to the point where I tried to find a good example of the same in a Ron Moore episode, and it's staggering just how 'conversational' it comes across in comparison:




Reminds me of the difference between actors who can make Shakespearian dialogue flow like regular conversation, and those who labour every syllable, which actually makes it harder to understand! :sigh:

 

...oh, and maybe don't stretch out entire scenes with it (particularly ones that don't have much bearing on the plot), so that everything comes grinding to a halt while the audience has to read the subtitles... :turn:

 

There's also a specific new revelation about these new Klingons that ...ugh. Creepy, and ...wow, the cultural connotations are awkward as hell...  :blink:


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#187

Posted 09 October 2017 - 09:13 AM

Sorry for the double-post, but I just had a big 'oh, sh**' moment - I'll just let the picture do the talking, and see if anyone else came to the same realisation:

43134482_1e9f8f12f7_o.jpg

 

 

...welp.

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#188

Posted 09 October 2017 - 02:34 PM Edited by AlienTwo, 09 October 2017 - 02:35 PM.

I mean, that's why we know the Spore Drive won't be a "thing" for canon to deal with... old Captain Ransom.  What a dick.  But honestly, I'm feeling the total opposite about the Klingons, I'm really digging their scenes and I feel like it's the best subtitles I've ever read, large and more centered so I still catch what's going on visually in the scene as opposed to normal small ones where I end up reading and missing the whole scene.

 

And the professionalism kinda makes sense, Landry's dumb-ass decision aside, this is the first war in over a hundred years Starfleet have had to fight, the first war the Federation has fought, if I recall correctly, so they've had this cavalier attitude about how this have and should work going forward and are about to be forced to change that.  

 

Plus, this is a massively different ship and crew, with a mission very unlike all the previous ones we've ever seen.  Even in the Dominion War it was pretty standard stuff, really, just with some tweaks (changelings, addicted mindless soldiers, etc) that gave it a special flavor.  I'm very happy with the release of info the show does, no long-standing mysteries they mine with "dum-dum-DUM" music and creepy fade outs, just new questions raised every episode with new answers to old questions regularly being dolled out.

 

But... did I hear them right?  The Klingons ATE Captain Georgiou?  Like... damn.  And who the hell is this bot-fly looking weirdo?

 

DLp9gCGXcAE2MqS.jpg

 

EDIT:  Good thing most of these aliens have rather human body shapes, for the sake of the uniforms.


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#189

Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:16 PM

EDIT:  Good thing most of these aliens have rather human body shapes, for the sake of the uniforms.


That fact 'is' part of the canon of Star Trek, if you didn't know....

Back in the 60's, the limitations of prosthetics, make up and budget made Star Trek pretty limited in terms of body form, so this canon has continued ever since in the various forms of Star Trek.... Metal Hulls, sentient bipedal life, arm manipulation etc. The uniforms have always worked as a result and are constructed in the same form, so they always fit the host, no matter how 'alien' the head looks.

This limitation has also spread into other 'non-canon' areas of Star Trek. Task Force Games run Star Fleet Battles today and they are limited by the same limitations in their 'alternative history background'. So while the Federation is a conglomeration of various races in the same way, the Klingons are 60's Klingons and the Romulans are everyone's favorite creepy Vulcans, there's other races that are not canon. The Gorns are there, and look like Kirk just tried to blow one up with a homemade cannon, but they're the closest allies of the Feds in the Grand Alliance during the General War, original 60's Tholians are also present (and probably the most alien of all races in the base game), but their background is fleshed out and verified (they're basically extra-galatic refugees whose own region of space was overrun and they had to flee or die. But in doing so, they seized a region of originally Klingon space and have held it for about a century prior to the General War starting). Arguably the most notable of the non-canon species are the Kzinti and Lyrans (Two separate Empires, but the two races are pretty similar in appearance as 'big cats', so it's generally accepted they were seeded from common stock during some historical period), who resemble Caitians, and both have their own Empires in the game :

caitians_1527.jpg

The other races and even their owned territories of space are all limited to the bipedal scope and the historical canon of Star Trek to some degree and the annoyance of Task Force was such, that they actually created a new region of the galaxy, called the Omega Sector, so they could move above the canon and create something new. This has promise as races in Omega rise and wane and the physiology is vastly differing, so races are much more diverse and even the ships vary, there's bio-engineered hulls, ships controlled and commanded by their super-computers and the biological crew actually answer to and serve the ship, plus many other diverse opportunities to examine....

Anyway, back to Discovery.  Episode 4 was pretty enjoyable but it seems like another 'wind up' of these last two episodes, but how is Michael gonna stop the Spore Drive hurting her new pet?

 

Also, is this how the series and canon gonna drive in it's new push, episode coupling to keep people guessing?

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#190

Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:31 PM

Oooh, we're going TAS here?  

 

Spoiler

 

But to the episode and canon; I've been trying to figure out how they would make the spore drive fail, but it's just as simple as "Starfleet doesn't use other intelligent creatures as fuel or engine components."  As much as Lorca might, and other elements would be in favor, the whole of the Federation would have to reject this technology.  I bet they'll use it to win the war, then once it comes to light how this works they need to shut it down.  

 

But maybe I misunderstood your question... 


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#191

Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:38 PM Edited by Uncle Sikee Atric, 09 October 2017 - 03:39 PM.

The animal is clearly suffering and in pain while the drive is in use, so yeah they'll use it to win the war, but the galactic PETA branch of the Federation will ban the use of the tech, unless Michael finds a way to bypass the pain and suffering and they find another way for it to fail....

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#192

Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:54 PM

I think it's suffering will be a point of conflict throughout the rest of this season.  Who know's if Lorca will be there though, looks to be getting in some deep sh*t next week.

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#193

Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:10 PM

Given the way that they seem eager to have 'Game Of Thrones' style characters, Crew expenditure seems to be pretty high in Discovery....


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#194

Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:34 PM Edited by Commander S, 10 October 2017 - 10:07 PM.

And the professionalism kinda makes sense, Landry's dumb-ass decision aside, this is the first war in over a hundred years Starfleet have had to fight, the first war the Federation has fought, if I recall correctly, so they've had this cavalier attitude about how this have and should work going forward and are about to be forced to change that.  

 

Plus, this is a massively different ship and crew, with a mission very unlike all the previous ones we've ever seen.  Even in the Dominion War it was pretty standard stuff, really, just with some tweaks (changelings, addicted mindless soldiers, etc) that gave it a special flavor.

 

Trouble is, I started noticing the lack of discipline and protocol right from the outset on the Shenzhou, too (Georgiou aside - who, along with Saru, felt like a character who'd stepped out of a much more traditional Trek show). People arguing in the open, chattering away like they're around the watercooler - even in things like Star Wars, where the Alliance fighter squadrons always felt like a scrappy bunch of civilian volunteers, there was at least an effort to simulate military discipline, with the occasional 'cut the chatter!'.

 

That also ties into a fundamental misunderstanding in the way that Starfleet works - the show's trying to highlight the difference between the military officers like Lorca, and the scientists like Stamets, but here's the thing: in Starfleet, there isn't that kind of clear-cut divide! Starfleet Academy isn't like West Point* - nor is it the equivalent of the Vulcan Science Academy. Officers are scientists, and vice-versa - Janeway was a former astrophysicist, Picard was an archaeologist, and on the flip-side, no-one expected the likes of Dax (either of them!) to protest being given combat orders. "I didn't sign up for this!" - if you're wearing a Starfleet uniform, then yes you did, Stamets! :facedesk:
 

*but then, Alex Kurtzman is the showrunner, and this is the guy who co-wrote a Trek movie where the Academy is show as being ...basically West Point, right down to people enlisting. :turn: Which is somewhat ironic, considering that a lot of my concerns about the lack of officer protocol show that whoever's writing clearly doesn't have much knowledge of how military organisations work.

 

 

But... did I hear them right?  The Klingons ATE Captain Georgiou?  Like... damn.


Yup. Considering there have been some concerns about how the show's portrayal of Klingons is a bit of a backwards step in terms of racist overtones, having them eat people isn't exactly a step up...  :blink:


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#195

Posted 10 October 2017 - 08:28 PM Edited by Uncle Sikee Atric, 10 October 2017 - 08:38 PM.

I am actually wondering something with Discovery.... Since the 'communication abilities' of so many varieties of Federation life are on the ship, how long will it be before the default 'Universal Translator' voice system will appear and make several differing alien species all either have the same voice or tweaked voices, but the same inflection?

But... did I hear them right? The Klingons ATE Captain Georgiou? Like... damn.


Yup. Considering there have been some concerns about how the show's portrayal of Klingons is a bit of a backwards step in terms of racist overtones, having them eat people isn't exactly a step up... :blink:


There's also another hint, the Klingons did mention they were low on food resources as well.... I suspect they might have made a feast out of necessity rather than any other reason, especially since Voq wasn't eager to board the Shenzhou for the parts they needed, citing respect for T'Kuvma.
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#196

Posted 10 October 2017 - 10:25 PM

Well, we've already had it so that T'Kuvma appeared to speak English (it's unclear if that's the translator doing it, obviously) when opening comms with the Shenzhou - and from the preview for next episode, T'Vrell is talking to Lorca in English somehow. Not sure if it'll actually be explained, obviously.

 

 

As for the Klingons eating Georgiou, I've seen that reasoning elsewhere, and it does make sense - but it's still pretty flawed, for three reasons:

 

1. Framing. If you're going to make it excusable out of necessity, then you need to write the scene to at least suggest that as the context. Instead, the show has Voq protest the idea of using tech from the ship that killed his leader, and T'Vrell counter that he had no similar qualms about eating the captain of that ship.

 

2. Similarly, if you want the audience to view it as an act of desperation, not ritual or whatever, then maybe don't follow up with "I saw your smile when you picked the meat from her smooth skull."... :turn:

 

3. Fundamentally, while the situation might well have forced the characters to do so, here's the biggie: characters don't do ANYTHING of their own volition! Characters/actions are entirely defined by the creative team, and so the only thing forcing Voq to eat a slain enemy (with all the iffy connotations attached) was ...whoever decided to write that (or whoever decided that didn't needed editing out).

 

Bit like the defense of Superman killing Zod in Man of Steel - yes, Zod was about to fry some innocent people. But it's a plot contrivance, same as anything else in fiction. The writes could have had ...Superman slam Zods face into the ground, or fly him away from the civilians, or just anything else entirely, because the only reason that the 'kill or let die' dilemma even existed was because the writers chose to force the plot into that particular moral choke-point.

 

As it is, either someone on a writing/showrunning level didn't think about how it'd look to keep that scene in - or did, and figured 'nah, that's totally fine'... *sucks air through gritted teeth, because GTAForums lacks a proper 'cringe' emoticon*


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#197

Posted 12 October 2017 - 02:34 PM

I think it'll either be explained with the UT or the fact that as the Federation is the counter galactic power to the KDF, it goes that they would both know some of each others language, or just unexplained.  Which is fine for me.

 

On the Klingons eating their enemies, this isn't new;

 

"This time, we will reach the Albino! And when we do, I will cut his heart out and eat it, while he watches me with his dying breath!"

- Kang, DS9, Blood Oath    

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#198

Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:58 PM

I mean, again, it's less the specifics, more the framing - one was 'viking-ish barbarians in space', with the connotations being more 'ritual honour-killing', in an episode where the big, central moral/thematic dilemma is 'is it right for Dax to go through with this?'. Meanwhile, the other is 'you were okay with eating the enemy', as a counterpoint to 'not taking the dilithium processing unit on principle'. It's barely a throwaway line, and suggests that whoever wrote it really wasn't thinking all that hard about how it might be interpreted.

 

But that's the problem overall for me - there's a pervading sense of 'rule of cool' being the main priority, like 'isn't this a snappy line?', or 'lookit - that's based on Real Science™!', or 'check out how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly!'. Except, all I'm getting is constant moments of characters saying/doing things arbitrarily (Landry's death was just ...what?), stuff like MOST things concerning spores, none of which work the way the writers think they do (which makes me wonder why they didn't just stick to some plausible-sounding pseudoscience, and save themselves the effort...), and tech/cultural details that wind up only existing to serve a specific plot purpose later on, with the only attempt to hide any obvious sense of contrivance being 'let's drag this out and make it extra-convoluted'.

 

 

I mean, that's basically the recipe for Star Trek Into Darkness (which, to be fair, if you told me that Alex Kurtzman would follow up STID by being showrunner on a new Trek series, that's pretty much how I'd expect things to pan out...) - and I was really rather hoping that Trek's return to TV was going to amount to more than 'keep the tone/storytelling/presentation, just ...make it a TV show, not a movie' in terms of, well, not being more of the Abrams movies.


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#199

Posted 17 October 2017 - 01:46 AM Edited by Craigsters, 4 weeks ago.

I like the new Star Trek Discovery show, but the damn klingon dialog  and the english subtitles go by so fast it takes me three hours to get through a one hour episode, my PVR rewinds to fast and I end up 15 minutes back to the beginning of the show trying to follow the subtitles.

 

They should have the stupid klingon dialog on sap (second audio play) for the hardcore trekkie fans.

 

I can only read three words of a sentence dialog before another sentence appears, I'm like slow down with the damn subtitles please. :evilgrin:  

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#200

Posted 4 weeks ago

They do need a "10 second back" button on their ap.  The worst part of the show is the CBS All Access app at this point.

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#201

Posted 3 weeks ago

Is Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd) the new Q for Discovery?


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#202

Posted 2 weeks ago

I think we've seen the last of him for a while.

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#203

Posted A week ago

I think we've seen the last of him for a while.

Kind of sad, I feel like he was one of the most exciting characters of the series so far.

 

I also really liked that episode. It felt more like a self-contained Star Trek episode-of-the-week story and I hope they mix and match more of that into the story as well as continuing the over-running story arc.

 

But I'm still sick of Burnam being basically the main character, and this new romance between her and Tyler...  Just...  Ugh.  I know I've said it, and I don't care if it makes me sound like a hater, but this is following all the classic action-movie tropes and I just can't stand it.  I'm hoping they don't make it a central theme of the story but just more subdued like other romances were spotlighted in Star Trek, but I have a bad feeling about it.

 

Given this was the penultimate episode, the finale better have some damn good stuff planned, or else I'm probably not going to be catching the second season.


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#204

Posted A week ago

Funny how arguably the strongest episode (7) was the one that was also the most traditional* and self-contained - although, again, it's really not helping, having a single main character. If this were DS9, that would have been a Stamets episode, and not only would it have been interesting to see things from his perspective, it'd also have solved a bunch of the more glaring leaps in plot logic (particularly the final twist).

 

And I get you about the Burnham/Tyler pairing - listened to two podcasts talk about it, and and they both mentioned how rushed the whole thing feels, particularly compared to, say, Dax and Worf (which the DS9 team actually tested to see if there was any chemistry there, then slowly built it up over time). And I know why they're doing that - short season, other long-running story arcs that take priority, and it's all building up to a big reveal that's going to pull the rug out from under the crew's feet. But in doing so, it doesn't really feel earned - you can see the pieces being assembled purely for that final purpose, just like so many other details thus far.


I'm guessing (considering last episode's cliffhanger) that we're looking at a kind of 'Iran auf Marseilles' payoff (cookie if you get that! ;)), only probably not quite as neat and tidy a resolution - and I expect they're going to save the aforementioned rug-pull until after the mid-season hiatus. And there's all the stuff regarding L'Vrell, Cornwell, Voq, and the relationship between the various Orc Klingon factions and the Federation, which certainly got more complicated all of a sudden:

 

Spoiler



*meanwhile, over on The Orville, episode 7 was a pretty good modern spin on a more '60s-Trek story structure (MacFarlane's own episodes have been surprisingly good at that overall), only for Brannon Braga to handle episode 8, and ...cue something that felt like a forgettable season 1 episode of Enterprise (admittedly with some strong performances to make it feel more than completely disposable). I hope that was just a blip, there - the last thing a Trek-like show needs is to fall into the same mistakes that led to an 18-year unbroken production finally running out of steam...





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