Author Topic: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****  (Read 7894 times)

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Offline karajorma

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
quite literally the worst sci-fi I've watched since the alien in War of the Worlds who shot lasers out of her hands by dabbing.

Slightly off topic but just for those of you who were spared this televisual treat.....



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Offline Buckshee Rounds

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I have to watch that film now, if nothing else I need to know why they gave guns to firefighters and why they're fighting dab-laser lady.

Spoiler:
The 1x14 preview seems to hint that she's going to play some role in helping Starfleet defeat the klingons.

Not entirely sure why Starfleet thinks giving a genocidal fascist any sort of authority or listening to their advice is a good idea, but we'll see how it actually shakes out

It could be quite entertaining actually. As someone who had a strong initial dislike for Discovery, I have to say I really enjoyed the mirror verse romp. Making everyone behave as evil two-faced ****heads is the perfect mirror verse treatment and is something that DS9 got very wrong.

As for the Emperor herself - the idea of an evil alien-slaver human supremacist playing some sort of role in the Prime verse seems like it could be a lot of fun if nothing else. If the writers play their cards right we might even see some interesting moral dilemmas, particularly about just how far the Feds are willing to go in order to protect themselves and win the war.

Too often in Trek the crew are presented with a moral dilemma that has a clear 2 way choice - save this species or violate the prime directive, that sort of thing, only for them to pick a magic 3rd option that wraps everything up without rustling any feathers. Voyager was particularly bad for this.

There's an episode of ENT where they're stuck without warp drive and need to make an important rendezvous. Without warp drive, they won't make it and if they don't then mission failed, Earth gets Death Star treatment. After some friendly aliens pass by and refuse to trade them the parts they need they decide to resort to piracy and simply take the parts. They only do so after exhausting every other option, but it's the first time we're given a glimpse of the good guys doing some really shady **** for the greater good.

Maybe we'll see something similar? The impact will be far more profound with Captain Saru in charge as well.

 

Offline karajorma

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I have to watch that film now, if nothing else I need to know why they gave guns to firefighters and why they're fighting dab-laser lady.

It was the last episode of Season 1 of the show. The firefighters were all taken over by the martians from the 1953 film. The show is kind of a benchmark for bad sci-fi. Not just in production values but also in truly mystifying ideas such as the fact that everyone acts with complete incredulity at the idea that aliens might exist despite them invading and nearly destroying the Earth 35 years earlier.
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Offline Mikes

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Maybe we'll see something similar? The impact will be far more profound with Captain Saru in charge as well.

Well ... after last episode, so much for Saru being in charge.

He'll have to watch not to become lunch now I guess :lol:

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
This show managed to go from really bad to good to really good to *whaaaam* JUMP THE SHARK QUICK! Jesus Christ, what a rollercoaster. What a terrible last minute decision that was. I want that admiral ****ing fired from her office.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
There's a tradition within Star Trek to have the admiralty make decisions that anyone can see are stupid.

I was hoping we'd be beyond that, but alas....
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Well, at least whenever they did that, they'd do one of two things: either they'd give you the looks of "life's hard, this is hard on you, tough it out like good soldiers do", or they'd characterize the authority figure as an asshole from the get go, so you'd know that everyone knows theirs is a terrible idea.

(A good exception to that is, of course, Captain Jellico from TNG that substitutes Picard and despite his assholishness, he's pretty damn awesome)

Here, after many episodes establishing that Admiral Cornwell is a smart, empathetic and overall great strategist, she just blunders away and gives the Discovery's chair to a ****ing Terran emperor.

Has she thought this through? Has anyone? Am I being obtuse in thinking that this new character is completely going to mismanage a crew she doesn't understand, issue orders that will get the crew confused and conflicted, innefective and mutiny-ish? She has to have this giant trump card in her (and only her) hands to have this job secured like that. Will she even think she can secure her position with force like she's so used to (and how that will totally not work here)?

What. The. ****.

They could have brought this show to a good finale. Instead, they throw a curveball like this, and I just can't trust their ability to land it.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Well, there is a theory going around that Cornwell will become this TOS character. Nothing seen so far seems to dispute that.
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Offline The E

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Okay, so now that the show's first season is done, here's my thoughts on it's overall arc.

1. Having a primary protagonist was not a wrong idea, but the execution was lackluster
As a first among ST shows, Discovery had, in Burnham, a clear viewpoint character and protagonist. Unfortunately, Burnham was the least interesting character in the ensemble; Her overall arc is short and not that interesting by itself, and Sonequa Martin-Green unfortunately does not have the charisma or acting chops required to be the lead actor in a show like this.
It also didn't help that her writing in particular had a very first-draft feel to it; her big dramatic speeches all seemed very unpolished.
Discovery was at its best when it showed the crew solving problems together, and that's an aspect that should be brought back in future installments.

2. The show is good at setting things up, but not at paying things off
The treatment of Lorca is emblematic of this. All through the first season, the mystery of who Lorca is and what he's going to do was engaging and interesting, but what they ended up doing with him was disappointing. Crucially, it wouldn't have taken much to keep him interesting; I would've bought him entirely as a mirror universe reformer who brings Discovery across to inject Federation morals into the mirror universe, who grabs Burnham because he sees in her an amalgamation of pragmatism and idealism that the mirror universe needs. But no, once he was in the mirror universe, all nuance disappeared and he became just another eeeeevvvviiiiiil terran.
Again, the fact that this could've been pulled off with minimal changes to the plot, just a few dialogue lines here or there, makes it especially grating.

Similar things can be said about the klingon war arc: It is resolved far too quickly, and while I applaud the fact that no time travel reset button was pressed, the resolution didn't feel good.

3. Saru is the best thing
No matter who they put in the chair next, Saru is Discovery's true Captain.

4. Tilly is also the best
I got a thing for characters who are, on a fundamental level, very stoked about being in space, leave me alone.

5. This is still, by far, the best opening season of an ST show since TOS
All the above quibbles and issues aside, on a per-episode level, this was the best start of an ST show. None of the episodes were as abysmal as things like "Farpoint Station" or "Naked Now" or "Heroes and Demons" or "Move along Home" or "Terra Nova", and while they also didn't reach the heights of something like "Duet", overall, it was very good.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 04:59:25 am by The E »
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
That last shot of the finale has the innings of the all too annoying "Star Wars" syndrome, as I'll call it henceforth: "Every goddamned prequel will end exactly where the original begins". Except it's not that, it's the "preview" of season 2, which prompts a lot of questions, namely "how the **** are they going to tie this up".

Burnham speech was atrociously delivered. Lacked heart. A shame. The entire finale was ridiculous to the extreme. The plot was so over the top, made no ****ing sense. TNG political plots were incredibly nuanced and believable compared to this, and that is saying something.

I'll give the season a 6/10, basically managing to have the same score I first gave it. The show may have avoided "Naked Nows", but because it runs in a serialized fashion, it suffered from systemic problems episode to episode, compounding them with each other and somewhat lazy writing here and there. There were rarely any impressive moments, from which all I can remember as an exception was the moment when Emperor Georgio showed up on screen. That was bonkers good. The rest? Forgettable.

I guess it's left for season 2 to learn why the hell no one has ever reproduced this Spore Drive. They never got to tell us. Perhaps Pike ****ed it up. Who knows. I guess we'll see.

 

Offline Damage

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Spoilers ahead.

As 1st Seasons of Trek go, this was good.  I have to agree with The E; there's some significant stumbling blocks throughout the whole season but it's a strong start.  Character development seemed almost an afterthought for the most part, though there are a couple of exceptions.  The season arc  ("The War storyline") started off strong but like so many epic Trek stories before, it kinda petered out towards the end, and actually got sidetracked by a much more entertaining plotline.  I will miss Jason Isaacs, he's a terrific actor and I loved seeing him do an American accent again.  I expect we'll see Michelle Yeoh again sometime, say in a year or two.  (What does a deposed Emperor do for a living?)

I thought the characters themselves were great, though several of them deserve to be fleshed out a more.  (Like Detmer, for instance.  We don't know anything about her, and she's been in every episode so far.)  The special effects were mostly top notch, though that's almost to be expected in this day and age.  I can offhand think of only one real blemish there, is when Saru was running through the forest.

Looking back, my only real issue with the whole season was the level of "Gimmicky" story ideas.  Like the character of Mudd, or the Mirror Universe...these things are great in small doses and as long they're not overused it's not a bad thing.  Rainn Wilson's Harry Mudd doesn't feel like the Harry Mudd I remember.  I always thought of Mudd as a con man and swindler, someone just short of a straight up pirate--but not a potential serial murderer.  The Mirror universe is a fine concept, but I think it suffers from DS9 using it as a serial dramedy.

Looking forward:  Please please please don't spend more than the opening episode or two dealing with Pike and the Enterprise.  I don't mind them interacting--that's all well and fine and good, but please don't let them overdo it.  (On a side note, a certain half-Vulcan science officer should be onboard.  I rather doubt they can resist doing it, but just how exactly will they go about it, I wonder.)

I also wonder if they'll expand out with Saru and Tilly and Stamets becoming more than "supporting characters."  They've each had some focus time, and with Burnham now back in good graces, her character arc complete more or less, might they opt for a more traditional Trek multi-character viewpoint?  On a related note, I wonder how much behind-the-scenes stuff influenced how the episodes eventually ended up, and how the fates of some characters were wrapped up.

Finally, I geek out a bit when I see the easter eggs and stuff, and I don't mind enjoying little wink/nod that goes along with them.  Like the  fried Ceti Eels in the finale, or names of places and people that show up from time to time.  But I think my favorite one of all so far was Clint Howard as the smoking Orion.
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Offline The E

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Speaking of the Enterprise though: Just how ****ing pretty was that ship there?

Like, the Constitution Refit was always top-tier for prettiness, but this amalgamation of TOS and movie elements (taking the pylons from the Refit, nacelles very close to TOS but with added lighting) is just soooo good.

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Offline Damage

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Ooooooh that is so pretty.  Now I need to figure out how to port those two ships into my copy of Starfleet Command...

I always thought the nacelle pylons in TOS were way too flimsy looking anyway.
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Offline Buckshee Rounds

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I smiled when the old girl showed up and the retcon manages to emulate the original while being pretty too.

ALERT - SPOILERS INCOMING

The finale was particularly disappointing I feel. Emperor Georgiou wound up being no more than a means to an end, an end that is quite possibly the most un-Starfleet and un-Federation thing I've seen so far.

Starfleet does not condone genocide, let alone attempt it. Ever. Starfleet does not put civilians in harm's way or even potentially in harm's way, to paraphrase Sisko. Starfleet would never hand over command of one of its best starships to a known slaver mass-murderer.

Burnham's speech at the end felt particularly contrived. The admiralty that attempted genocide are standing right there for ****s sake. And Sarek was in on it! Wtf?!

I mentioned in a previous post something about the Feds possibly having to do something morally ambiguous like Archer's piracy for the warp coil, but Jesus, Thor and Allah I didn't expect attempted genocide.

The top-level of Starfleet Command should all be in prison, Sarek too. Burnham was imprisoned for much less.

On a more nitpicky note - a lot of the cast deliver their lines too fast, Sonequa Martin-Green in particular.

The scene where Georgiou is confronted by Burnham had so much build-up and tension, only for it to completely deflate like a wet fart. It felt like a metaphor for the show in general.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
That Enterprise is indeed quite beautiful, a kind of a mesh between the original one and the TMP one, which is my favorite of them all - I remember drawing it as a kid endless times.

  

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Starfleet does not condone genocide, let alone attempt it. Ever.
Well, not officially, anyway... but they were quite happy to stand back and let Section 31 attempt to use a bioweapon against the Founders, weren't they?

Starfleet does not put civilians in harm's way or even potentially in harm's way, to paraphrase Sisko.
Speaking of Sisko, remember that time he intentionally put civilians in harm's way?
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Offline Buckshee Rounds

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Starfleet does not condone genocide, let alone attempt it. Ever.
Well, not officially, anyway... but they were quite happy to stand back and let Section 31 attempt to use a bioweapon against the Founders, weren't they?

Starfleet does not put civilians in harm's way or even potentially in harm's way, to paraphrase Sisko.
Speaking of Sisko, remember that time he intentionally put civilians in harm's way?

Both good points, but there's a huge difference between the top brass explicitly ordering genocide and those two examples. You could argue that Starfleet had no idea what Section 31 was up to, although it's broadly hinted that they did. And Sisko could've been bluffing, maybe, perhaps?

The attempt in Discovery just doesn't have any wiggle room, they gave a doomsday device to a slaver-murderer and told her to go genocide some Klingons. Bringing Sarek in on it further served to butcher his character.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Both good points, but there's a huge difference between the top brass explicitly ordering genocide and those two examples. You could argue that Starfleet had no idea what Section 31 was up to, although it's broadly hinted that they did. And Sisko could've been bluffing, maybe, perhaps?

You're wrong. Here's TNG Descent Part 1 character Admiral Nechayev:

Quote
NECHAYEV: As I understand, it you found a single Borg at a crash site ...and eventually found a way to send it back to the Borg with a programme that would have destroyed the entire collective once and for all... Now I want to make it clear that if you have a similar opportunity in the future, an opportunity to destroy the Borg, you are under orders to take advantage of it.

This is the top brass of federation literally ordering Picard to commit a full sweeping genocide that doesn't just kill the Borg's "home", but their entire existence. Desperation is a hell of a drug.

 

Offline Buckshee Rounds

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I'll admit hypocrisy on my part and concede your point. I suppose I'm less willing to forgive Discovery's portrayal of it because I don't like the show in general, which is perhaps unfair.

OTOH, that episode of TNG is a bit ****e and I think I dislike it more now.

Now that I think about it, Picard and crew seriously considered destroying the Borg while Burnham and crew were against the attempt at genocide almost as soon as they found out. Which is probably why the admiralty recruited ex-Emperor Georgiou to do the dirty work in the first place.

I just wish they had kept Sarek out of it, I feel like it was uncharacteristic and he should've known better.

 

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I totally get what you mean. In defense of TNG and that episode in particular, the Borg were portrayed so far as this almost lovecraftian terror that would most certainly wipe everything that they chose not to assimilate, the kind of characterisation that would place everyone's minds on "off the box" thinking quite quickly. Very few would even entertain the thought that this species should even deserve any respect or consideration not to be genocided out of existence, and I remember the show to be incredibly idealistic at the time, for having the balls to say that even such nasty beings like the Borg have a place in the universe and no one should try to eradicate them, even if only in self defense.

In Discovery, it's mostly about an all out war between two comparable species, which brings the point closer to home and to our own history with total destruction of cities and so on in the name of an all out war.