Author Topic: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****  (Read 17949 times)

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Offline Firesteel

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
One of my biggest hangups was that I knew Michelle Yeoh's character was going to get offed quickly just from the credits (thanks for that btw) and thus they didn't do much with her those two episodes and yet they spent enough time on her to shaft Saru's introduction. While I'm fine with them doing things differently, it's a rare show that won't introduce its main cast in the pilot. I liked Michelle Yeoh mainly because she was the actor not because whatever her character's name was was well rounded (plus she didn't even get to have that great a fight to the death).

I'm curious to see where Michael goes but the whole setup feels weird for Star Trek and I'd like to have met the rest of the cast in the first two episodes rather than dumping Michelle Yeoh after two episodes.
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Offline Det. Bullock

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Assaulting your commanding officer, mutinying, and then attacking a neutral vessel unprovoked does not make a whole lot of sense regardless of who you're attacking.  That tends to go double (or triple) in the Federation, and double or triple on top of that early enough in the series that it's before the events of TOS.

It stinks of a network executive remembering Voyager, thinking "Janeway was a strong and effective female protagonist, let's double down on that", and greenlighting the series.
She gets a life sentence for it though, and my sixth sense tells me there is something fishy about how she gets reinstated, section 31 perhaps?
I would not be surprised if she gets recruited because they think she's a sort of super-maverick ready to do any horrible crap to save the federation.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I can get behind all of those plot decisions. I enjoyed both episodes, and I think they did a decent (not great) job at portraying the characters. Killing the captain was a good decision IMO, given how the protagonist is the first officer, not the captain. I approve of it because it gives the show the tension it needs to capture your attention, and they did it while being able to maintain the optimism and fortitude of the Federation overall.

I will have lots of words to say about this show, mostly positive, later on.

I'll just leave it here though: those swinging dutch angles could give us a rest, FOR ****S SAKE I'M DIZZYYY.

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Mhhh after 2 episodes I can't really tell if I like it or not.

It was all over the place, lots of action, some werid turns/cuts in the story/flow/action, overall not enough "meat" to really base a decision on yet. I'll keep watching and probably not decide until the end of season 1. ;-)

I watched a lot of Trek, but I wouldn't consider myself a "die hard" Trek fan. I'm also open to some of the weirder stuff they pulled and for example think that the Mirror episodes in Enterprise were some of the most hilarious/awesome things I've ever seen done in the genre. :P So I'll keep watching with an open mind, at least as long as the show doesn't ask me to open my mind so much that my brain falls out.  :eek2:
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 06:17:29 am by Mikes »

 

Offline Flaser

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Having the read the discussion going to and fro in the thread, I realized that I quite liked how the show goes and my opinion has more to do with actual politics than any perceived "ideal" of how Star Trek "should be".

When ST originally aired, in many ways it was radical, to the point that hard-line jingoists would've called it leftist subversion. It was a liberal utopia where post-scarcity made the necessity of all the "hard choices" espoused by traditional hegemonists not only redundant but downright petty, a future where there were no menial limits to embracing Enlightenment principles to their fullest. It was probably TNG that cemented this "ideal" into an actual ethos by having Enterprise captained by an avowed humanist, a telling change from TOS where this role was reserved for on of the "support elements" (McCoy) of the triangle.

...however the world we acutally live in has taken a strange turn since then. Liberalism has seemingly conquered the world and became the bona fide "basis" of western civilization, civil liberties are pushed ever farther so even previously unthought fringes of society are being considered when the impact of policies is weighted. Did the ST utopia come to pass? Are we living in an era where Enlightenment has finally brought us into the light?

Not quite, and the creators of Discovery have a keen eye to see the dichotomies and falsehoods present in our facade of freedom. Just as in our life, some are suspicious of the multi-cultural, seemingly benevolent amalgam that is liberal democracy. Does it truly bring freedom to its members or only a semblance of it?

The hardest push comes from the traditionalists, the zealots. In either TOS or TNG their credo would've been a macabre, a crude "backwards" ideology to be morally overcome within a single episode and the outright reformation of said societies is postponed due token acceptance of the difficulty of creating political change without resorting to totalitarian methods.

Discovery grants these "old types" some much needed depth and poignant verity. Is the liberal Federation credo actually superior? While its ideals are charitably acknowledged and even portrayed and self-evident virtues, the society and state apparatus built up around them are anything but. The dethronement is twofold:

1. The Federation simply doesn't *get* the Klingons. It's so enamored with the self-evident universality of its Enlightened ideals that the notion of others operating on other modes of thought is simply inconceivable. This faith goes to lengths so even a Machiavellian *understanding* is beyond the reach of those "believing" the idea...

2. ...which on some levels turns out to be a hollow edifice. The very fact that the Federation falls back on authoritarian discipline even though the protagonist has been demonstrably *right*, highlights an institutional double-think. Should Burnham have got away scot-free? Of course not. Even though she was right in the intellectual sense, and *was* acting out of a deep loyalty, her *methods* were unacceptable.

However, try and imagine how a trial like this would've gone in either TOS or TNG! A crucial element missing is *compassion*, in ST judgements are handed down not merely to uphold the social order, but also out of an obligation to do what is *right* (>insert your flavor of Freudian Trio analysis here<). It could be argued that such a portrayal is missing as it would've undermined the entire character arc of our protagonists, so far reaching conclusions shouldn't be drawn from the short sequence... except it's kind of an emissary of things to come. *This* Federation compromises, even the short previews we've seen indicate that not all is well in this utopia... kind of like our own world. When attacked by religious fanatics, we've reverted to older, meaner ways instead the compassionate, *enlightened* response our nominal ideals would've dictated.


So is Discovery a good show? It's too early to tell, but I really like how it approaches traditional ST themes and explores them in a new way informed by how the liberal dream in the real world has turned out.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 12:01:50 pm by Flaser »
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I think the court was correct, perhaps too harshly but still.

The XO must abide by captain's orders, especially in tense situations and rare encounters with an aggressive species. They should support the chain of command. Instead she not only challenged the captain in front of everyone, she then knocked her out and proceeded to try to get the Schenzou to fire on the Klingons, against captain's orders.

This is exactly the incredibly wrong thing to *ever* have in these situations, a crazy XO with paranoid insights and the fortitude to forgo any protocol to get their way. No fleet can just have this sort of person aboard. She might have engineered a whole war with the Klingons all on her own, regardless of what Sarek told her, or what she believed. Of course, events unfolded in a way that more or less proved she wasn't entirely wrong, but they also didn't prove them correct either. They were outgunned, so even if you think about what would be the cleverer way to go about it, it would be sort of what actually ended up happening, wait for reinforcements, rather than just brainlessly fire upon them.

Reckless, brainless, an act of mutiny and endangering not only the entire crew, but an entire relationship between the federation and the Klingons. Yeah, damn right she has to be stripped out of rank and put to jail. For life though? Yeah, that seemed harsh as well.

 

Offline Bobboau

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I heard the main character assaults her commanding officer and commits mutiny in order to fire unprovoked on a Klingon ship because they're Klingons and violence is all they know, and that she is also Spock's secret half-sister raised by Vulcans.

I hope you'll forgive me for not having a high opinion on the quality of the premise.

and Sarek, the Vulcan, the race of avowed pacifists, was the one who said she should fire unprovoked on a Klingon ship, because that's how Vulcans do things now, that is a "Vulcan hello". He also said that her killing a Klingon because a Klingon killed her parents was fair, so I guess revenge is logical now.
and interstellar telepathy is a Vulcan thing now too.

The only way they can redeem this is if Sarek was actually a Romulan agent in disguise and also the Klingons. Speeking of which if they wanted to criticize Trump so badly and wanted to do some sort of metaphor about him wouldn't the Cardasians have been a much better choice?

Orville is much more trek than this.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 04:00:23 pm by Bobboau »
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Offline Turambar

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Hold on, this isn't in Abrams-Trek universe?  What's up with it looking exactly like that, and having all these klingon ships whose designs i don't recognize?

I figured that's what D-7s and Birds of Prey looked like after they lost their fleet to the Narada and improved based on the data from that fight.

I also figured that being in the alternate universe was going to help them dodge all the genetic modification continuity hurdles.
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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Discovery was advertised as being a prime-universe series, but it's unclear that the production team was ever made aware of that.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
and Sarek, the Vulcan, the race of avowed pacifists, was the one who said she should fire unprovoked on a Klingon ship, because that's how Vulcans do things now, that is a "Vulcan hello". He also said that her killing a Klingon because a Klingon killed her parents was fair, so I guess revenge is logical now.

Within the context of Vulcan/Klingon relations, yes it is.

Quote
and interstellar telepathy is a Vulcan thing now too.

Has been since, I dunno, TOS' "Immunity Syndrome" episode. If Spock, noted human/vulcan hybrid, can telepathically sense 400 Vulcans that he had no close contact with (presumably) die....

Quote
The only way they can redeem this is if Sarek was actually a Romulan agent in disguise and also the Klingons. Speeking of which if they wanted to criticize Trump so badly and wanted to do some sort of metaphor about him wouldn't the Cardasians have been a much better choice?

If you want to do a story about multiculturalism vs nationalism/identitarianism, all of Star Trek's major villains (except the borg) would work. But the timeframe of the show says it's got to be klingons, so klingons it is.
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Offline The E

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Discovery was advertised as being a prime-universe series, but it's unclear that the production team was ever made aware of that.

You do know you're not looking at a show set ten years before TOS but one set 100 years after ENT (and produced 10 years after ENT ended), right? Let's face it, the TOS look doesn't work as a credible outlook onto what future tech looks like anymore. Look at "Star Trek Continues". That show uses a faithful recreation of the TOS sets, and as a result, looks like a show from the 60s. It's full of zeerust.

In other words: What exactly did you expect? Pastel-coloured wood everywhere? Static displays? Glowy crystal switches?
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Offline Turambar

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Discovery was advertised as being a prime-universe series, but it's unclear that the production team was ever made aware of that.

Yeah, really feels like they forgot to tell the 3d team about that.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
In other words: What exactly did you expect? Pastel-coloured wood everywhere? Static displays? Glowy crystal switches?

I think that what people didn't expect was holographic communication (that is really well executed in the show, btw) and dark bridges ala Star Wars, completely different suits ala Mass Effect (the story behind the suits is actually incredible, because they didn't actually have the rights to use the original costumes, if you can believe it!!). They *did* market this as prime universe. You can call it "a sequel to enterprise" all day, but you could still see Enterprise as being somewhat of a prequel to TOS, while this is just impossible to square.

Don't get me wrong, I also get the "See Star Trek Continues" stuff, but then please don't call it "prime"? Watch Axanar if you want to see a better recreation of the original feel with a more modern outlook. Not saying I love that, but it shows it's possible to have a "Rembrandt" feel without going full Abrams on the looks of Star Trek.

AND WOULD SOMEONE STOP THE CAMERA SPINNING JESUS ****ING CHRI

 
Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
In other words: What exactly did you expect? Pastel-coloured wood everywhere? Static displays? Glowy crystal switches?

Continuity in tone and substance with the previous prime-universe series.  Yeah, the TOS visual aesthetic can't really be resurrected, but then again, a new Trek series didn't need to take place around or prior to TOS, did it?  There's about two centuries of established timeline to work within, assuming you don't want to extend Trek further into the future.  If you were interested in cashing in on the rebooted films, though, then you'd probably work in/around the TOS timeframe, with the Abramsverse aesthetic and a story that wants to jump straight into a big war in the first episode or two.  Oh, hey!  That sounds familiar!

If I were to write a prime-universe Trek series that explores some of the same ideas and themes that the writers of Discovery have said that they intend the series to explore, I'd set it in the years leading up to DS9, on the Federation-Cardassian border.  Border security, immigration, cross-border criminal activity, nationalism/jingoism, uneasy foreign relations, all right there and without needing to dive into another cliché black-and-white war plot.  Hell, you might even get an occasional Garak cameo in such a series.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I think that what people didn't expect was holographic communication (that is really well executed in the show, btw) and dark bridges ala Star Wars, completely different suits ala Mass Effect (the story behind the suits is actually incredible, because they didn't actually have the rights to use the original costumes, if you can believe it!!). They *did* market this as prime universe. You can call it "a sequel to enterprise" all day, but you could still see Enterprise as being somewhat of a prequel to TOS, while this is just impossible to square.

You must have missed all the criticism against ENT in its early days (before the show actually aired). "What's with all the flatscreens", "Why are they wearing jumpsuits", "Why does the NX-01 bridge look so modern compared to the TOS one", those were all things said back then.

And yeah, I stand by my assertion that Discovery's sets and costumes and ships are an extrapolation of what ENT did. Does it also take design cues from the Abrams films? Sure.

Quote
Don't get me wrong, I also get the "See Star Trek Continues" stuff, but then please don't call it "prime"? Watch Axanar if you want to see a better recreation of the original feel with a more modern outlook. Not saying I love that, but it shows it's possible to have a "Rembrandt" feel without going full Abrams on the looks of Star Trek.

This ignores the quite dramatic visual shifts Star Trek has undergone with each era of production. Going from TOS to TMP was a drastic change in style. Going from TMP to TWOK was another big shift (at least uniform-wise; if you can find the throughline that connects the TOS uniforms to TMPs and TWOKs, congratulations. I certainly can't). TNG, DS9 and VOY were very consistent in their looks, but other than that, I think that saying that Star Trek has consistency in its visual style is overstating the case just a little bit.

Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
Nah, the more I think about it, the more I dislike it. Sarek pulling a Kenobi on Michael?

Michael being all around terrible as a "Vulcan protegé" who apparently can pull off some ass weird calculations down to seconds on how much a storm is away from you, only to be wronged by it just a scene later "Oh I guess I was wrong"? Doing everything by emotion and not one bit of logical thought throughout the entire decisions? (from choosing herself to go skywalking instead of a probe to engage in a brainless mutiny that was innefective and put her into a life sentence?)

I get the anti-hero stuff, but there's little there for me to sympathise with her. There's no injustice either, the sentence was correct (harsh, but correct). She's like some kind of Paris in Voyager but Voyager did it correctly (yeah...), but the pilot episodes should give you reasons why you should root for her, not just show why you shouldn't.

Regarding ENT, I get your point, but those things were largely unavoidable. To have spaceships in the future and no ipads would be hilariously terrible. But there's nothing on both our present lives and in any Star Trek reference to go from there to holo comms. Utterly unnecessary drivel, but hey, it looks nice, so they worked it backwards from there.

I miss the old days when ST worked its tech from the ground up and even explored it for its own sake, rather than just showed some stolen 3d cool **** from the cousin's sci fi portfolio so you can eat it up.

Dialogue was forced. Saru was great, but all the others were fighting against the scripted lines.

Here's the thing. My opinion on the episodes so far is that they are bad, but not as bad as I had expected. Here's another thing, the show may well improve. Star Trek pilots are notoriously cumbersome and convoluted pieces that are sometimes very very bad (hello Voyager). So there's hope!

 

Offline Bobboau

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
If I were to write a prime-universe Trek series that explores some of the same ideas and themes that the writers of Discovery have said that they intend the series to explore, I'd set it in the years leading up to DS9, on the Federation-Cardassian border.  Border security, immigration, cross-border criminal activity, nationalism/jingoism, uneasy foreign relations, all right there and without needing to dive into another cliché black-and-white war plot.  Hell, you might even get an occasional Garak cameo in such a series.

OMG! Right?! Cardassians are PERFECT for this.
I have a feeling the current writing staff of this show don't know what a Cardasian is.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I disagree, that arc was done in DS9 already.

 

Offline Bobboau

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
No that was the fall of the Cardasian state, what I'm thinking of would be a story about how it came to be the monstrosity we saw in TNG era trek. The fall of a once free Cardasia with promise and potential, falling into the hyper-fascistic police state we all know and love.

That could have been great.
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Star Trek Discovery -- This is the good ****
I see that. It could have a quite assymmetrical arc with the federation concluding that the enlightenment and diversity and so on are the path to go, while Cardassia plummeted into its opposite. There could be a sweet / sour feel about the whole thing.

Alas, we have what we have. And I can only cringe at the thoughts that go through my head on where this will actually lead into, given all the short teaser clips.