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  • #241364
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I thought Q Who was ace, but there might be adolescent nostalgia there. Odd that Sonya “Triple-breasted Mutant Prostitute in Total Recall” Gomez gets such a big introduction there, but then doesn’t tragically die for impact or show up in more than one other episode.

    I hope you remain unspoiled for the season finale Shades of Grey. That’s a unique episode that really sums up the journey so far.

    #241365
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Was she the cute engineering girl? I saw her pop up again an episode later and was looking forward to her becoming a minor recurring character.

    I’ll try to avoid reading the Netflix synopses, don’t think I know anything about Shades of Grey other than having heard the name a few times.

    #241366
    Warbodog
    Participant

    It’s an introspective character study with callbacks and references galore.

    #241367
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I just want more of that smokin’ hot Klingon babe from The Emissary, god damn.

    WORF: K’Ehleyr. I will not be complete without you.
    [beat]
    WORF: I cannot believe I just said that.

    #241368

    Shades of Grey is one of those finale’s you don’t really expect, but once you settle down into it you see what they were going for and can really enjoy the romp that it is. You’ll learn a lot about certain characters from seeing events from their past that really bring them to life a little more.

    #241369
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I know some people recommend skipping seasons 1 & 2, I can’t really argue against that, but Shades of Grey really encapsulates what those years were about and what that crew’s been through. It’s a fitting tombstone I mean capstone for the Maurice Hurley era.

    #241372
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    <<The Schizoid Man was very good, despite the fact that I absolutely hate the cunt who inhabited Data’s body.>>

    Interestingly, the role was intended originally to be played by Patrick McGoohan.

    #241373
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    The first time I ever watched TNG all the way through I enjoyed series 1 and 2 as much as any. There are some dodgy moments no doubt but more great ones, and I really liked Dr Pulaski.

    #241374
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Yeah there have been some really outstanding episodes in seasons one and two, and not too many I would unironically tell people to just not watch at all.

    Hey wait a minute… I HAVE heard of Shades of Grey… it’s up there with Spock’s Brain as the widely accepted “worst episode of Star Trek ever.” I liked Spock’s Brain, though, so we’ll see.

    #241375
    Warbodog
    Participant

    They should have called it Riker’s Brain.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Shades of Gray” is widely regarded as the worst episode of the series, with critics calling it “god-awful” and a “travesty”

    In all the history of the Star Trek franchise, only this episode had an average IMDb review lower than five out of 10, marking it as the worst episode ever.

    That just makes me annoyed for all the lousy episodes that don’t deserve to be recognised as ‘average.’ IMDb reviewers are either too generous or really conflicted.

    #241376
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Generous, I think. A lot of episodes I really, really enjoy I only give 7/10, but giving things marks lower than 5 is quite rare. I have given a few 4s and a couple 1s and 2s but any time you’re marking something out of 10 you’re going to be a little generous

    #241434
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    DATA SOMETHING’S GOT MEEEEEEEE
    [Troi cries for 20 minutes]
    Man that stank

    #241436
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    So happy to see Dr. Crusher back

    #241437
    Warbodog
    Participant

    How are you finding the transition, if there’s even a noticeable change? Watching recently, I found (i.e. imagined) that episodes 1 & 2 felt like okay season 2.5 holdovers, then it suddenly becomes recognisable, “proper” TNG from ‘The Survivors’ onwards. But still with a freshness that marks it out from the later seasons. You know, in my mind.

    #241441
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Honestly I feel like that from the second episode, The Ensigns of Command. It felt like there was a huge surge in confidence and probably budget. More CG, I don’t like the new intro but the stuff in the episodes is really nice, for the most part. I thought I noticed a couple CG Enterprise shots in season two but now I’m convinced I saw some in season three. I haven’t seen Survivors yet but I’ll see if the change is even more noticeable.

    I know what that feeling of a show suddenly feeling “proper is like”, I think I got that from Carnival of Monsters for Doctor Who

    #241442
    Warbodog
    Participant

    No CG Enterprise in TNG originally, unless the remaster has really messed around. Maybe the model just looked weird. They introduce a new shorter model later this year that was easier to film around, which stands out from the longer stock footage model because the hull plates look bulkier. Not worth making your two hero ship models visually consistent, I guess.

    #241443
    Warbodog
    Participant

    #241444
    Warbodog
    Participant
    #241445
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Never mind.

    #241478
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Hmm, that’s interesting. Maybe it was the lighting, or the cleanup process of the shots, or how it was all put together etc, but I could swear a few shots were CG. They were too… smooth, almost like they had low resolution textures.

    The Survivors was pretty good. I actually caught a bit of it earlier in the year on television as I was making my lunch; some of Picard’s discussion with the survivors and the (spoilers) eventual destruction of their home. I remember thinking at the time, as I was at that point making my way through TOS, that I’d spoiled myself the surprise of what looked like a really good episode of Star Trek. However, while watching the episode just there, I couldn’t remember the details of what I had seen before, only that I had seen it before. So everything that happened remained a surprise to me, with me sort of remembering having seen it after the fact. So that was interesting.

    Very heartbreaking ending, kind of strange that they just let him go without reprimand despite the enormous crime he commited. I get that he did it as a sort of knee-jerk reaction for a sympathetic reason, but that excuse wouldn’t hold up in court. I also grant that they couldn’t prosecute him if they tried, given his immense power, and maybe they decided that his grief and regret was punishment enough.

    Also interesting how Picard and Beverly’s reactions to the “I had immense powers and did nothing” story are played as disgust, judgment, shock etc. Isn’t that hypocritical? Don’t they, and haven’t they done the exact same? Isn’t that what the Prime Directive dictates should be done?

    I see what you mean with this being a step up, Ensigns and particularly Survivors are very meaty stories with a lot to think about.

    #241479
    Lily
    Participant

    Kinda inspired by this thread, I’ve been watching Voyager over the Christmas break. I watched the first few seasons when they originally aired but stopped a little while after 7of9 turned up (no idea what season that is).

    I’ve got through the first two seasons now and boy has it been a slog. I didn’t remember the vast majority of the episodes from first time around, although one or two were familiar. Half the time I ended up fiddling on my phone because they were so boring though.

    Season 3 seems to be picking up now so hopefully this will feel less of a grind soon.

    #241481
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Oh no, don’t get me started on – too late.

    I have a lot of nostalgic memories of Voyager (as far as season 5), because I really liked it when I was around 11-14. But as soon as DS9 ended and Voyager became the *only* new Star Trek for the first time, I finally saw through how shallow and static it was and stopped renting the videos before the end of that year. I haven’t gone back to the series since (apart from catching up on the finale and a few others), that breakup was painful. I’ll enjoy watching the good ones again when I get over it, but I’d have to switch my critical faculties off.

    Frequent TNG/DS9 writer and Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore gave a famously scathing interview about his very brief time working on Voyager before he quit and the fundamental problems he saw with it. Lack of ambition and no respect for their audience, I think. He may have made BSG as a gritty response of how a show like Voyager should have looked.

    At least Voyager had a few decent characters, which is more than I can say for Enterprise. I’ve watched the two “good” seasons of that (3 & 4) and got nothing from those guys. I like some of the Discovery characters though, so have hope there.

    #241482
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I have really fond memories of Voyager from “watching” (seeing) it as a child, I’m sure they will be destroyed by the time I actually get around to watching it for real. My appreciation of TNG and especially TOS however has only increased since my vague childhood recollection.

    #241483
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Some notes on Who Watches the Watchers.

    1) The whole idea of the “duck blind” is stupid – RedLetterMedia cover this in their review of Insurrection.

    2) The whole idea to re-violate the Prime Directive in one way which Picard (read: the writer) views is “better” is sketchy at best, immoral at worst. By doing this, the crew of the Enterprise are DIRECTLY influencing the development of the planet, where before they were doing so accidentally. Before beaming the woman aboard the Enterprise, the story of Picard could have been dismissed as the murmurings of an insane man, akin to people on Earth who claim to have been abducted by aliens today, and could quickly fall to the realm of conspiracy theory or legend; there is no need to extrapolate crusades and holy wars from this incident. The obvious anti-religion slant from the script and its writer gives us the idea that guiding the people towards scientific advancement is better than allowing them to fall back into religion, but I think that’s a moot point, a flimsy excuse, and is irrelevant where the Prime Directive is concerned. As a result, we have an episode which, while good, is as confused with regards to General Order One as A Private Little War was in TOS.

    3) This is all Beverly’s fault, although bless her for just wanting to do her job.

    #241484
    Warbodog
    Participant

    That’s one of my favourite episodes. The start of Picard being great (even as he’s desperate to prove otherwise). I like the weirdly immoral and impractical pervy surveillance, the flustered Prime Directive improv making things worse and especially the overt atheism that flat-out equates supernatural faith with dangerous primitivism. If they’d made it today, right-wing Christian YouTube would be all over it.

    Nice callbacks to TOS too with the recognisable Vasquez Rocks location (Arena etc), secular theme (Apollo episode) and parallel planet development, like they were feeling confident about their show’s identity now and wanted to lean on the sequel/update/improvement angle that week. In my mind again.

    #241486
    Lily
    Participant

    >Frequent TNG/DS9 writer and Battlestar Galactica creator Ron Moore gave a famously scathing interview about his very brief time working on Voyager before he quit and the fundamental problems he saw with it.

    Interesting read and hits a lot of the niggles I have. The episodes where they have a chance of getting home annoy me, as you already know it’s not going to happen. Even when they first aired you knew it, as that would be game over for the show. It’s just waiting to see how they fuck it up. Endless shuttles, sending off probes all the time and permanent running holodeck doesn’t tell me that they’re stuck in the delta quadrant with limited supplies.

    Also the lack of peril bothers me. You know that the core crew are always safe and there will always be a reset button found by the end of the episode. Actions never have lasting consequences. Like that guy says, it just doesn’t feel ‘real’.

    #241487
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    That kind of “no peril”, “reset button” criticism applies to almost every TV show ever made, you just need to get in amongst it and enjoy it on another level. The stars will never die. You could note a few exceptions, obviously, but 9 times out of 10 you know everyone is going to be OK by the end of the episode.

    Isn’t equating supernatural faith to dangerous primitivism antithetical to the entire idea of “Star Trek” ? Ignoring whether or not it’s a massive oversimplification of a complex cultural phenomenon, Star Trek is all about respecting people’s beliefs and cultures.

    #241519
    Warbodog
    Participant

    >Star Trek is all about respecting people’s beliefs and cultures.

    Yeah, all your criticisms are on point and I recognise them in the ep, but for some reason I just love the bumbling and arrogant Federation in that one (and others). DS9 is more understanding about the comfort people find in religion, and it takes the contradictory Federation to task more since we get the alien perspective.

    >That kind of “no peril”, “reset button” criticism applies to almost every TV show ever made

    Seriously though, wait until you hit Voyager! The very best episodes all have time travel reset button endings so nothing fucking matters. It’s like a White Hole ending again and again without the humour.

    Just to spoil other shows, Battlestar Galactica and Farscape both had “looking for Earth” objectives that were subverted before the end of the series in unexpected ways. With Voyager there was never any doubt from the start that they were going to punctually arrive home in episode 7×26 (but hey, maybe they don’t!) It’s about the journey, but the journey’s a slog.

    #241555
    Lily
    Participant

    >>That kind of “no peril”, “reset button” criticism applies to almost every TV show ever made

    >Seriously though, wait until you hit Voyager!

    Glad it’s not just me then :) I think the problem is that most shows will take their characters right up to the edge of mortal peril, then do something clever or interesting to save them, so that the show can carry on. However Voyager is perfectly content to let them die, then wave a technobabble magic wand and it’s all OK again. It’s significantly less satisfying that way.

    #241564
    Warbodog
    Participant

    That technobabble reset button ending trope is mainly down to Brannon Braga. He wrote some of the most popular episodes of TNG later on that also fall back on that, but characters at least remember the events. In Voyager, it gets really old and the premise begs for strong continuity and ramifications. But you could watch a season 1 or season 7 episode and they’d look basically exactly the same, apart from one cast change and Janeway changing her hair. Fine if you just want more TNG, but that’s not how it was sold.

    I think Voyager improves a lot in season four, that has more continuity between episodes and a sense of moving forwards rather than literally going in circles (they’re travelling in a straight line as fast as they can, but keep running into Seska and the same Kazon for two years?) But in season five, that momentum’s lost and it just feels like random episodes again. Maybe the best year in terms of individual episodes (epic action, moral quandaries, light comedies), but not much sense of the big picture. I don’t know much after that, I quit!

    #242156
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    TNG S03E11: The Hunted

    ZAYNAR: It was the will of the people.
    TROI: To allow them to suffer?
    ZAYNAR: There was a referendum. The people weighed the costs involved.

    Presented without comment.

    #242164
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I enjoyed that one more than expected this time around, felt like TNG’s Space Seed.

    What did you think of the Romulan episodes? I know The Defector’s very well regarded, but they didn’t do that much for me, just ending in repetitive Cold War stand-offs before going their separate ways. They’re useful when you need an enemy in an episode (like the Iconian gateways one), I just don’t find Romulans that interesting.

    Worf’s dangerous moral stubborness in The Enemy is interesting though – Roddenberry was getting sick and not so involved any more, so character conflict starts to sneak in.

    #242196
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I thought The Defector was pretty great, got a 7/10 from me. I liked us being unsure as to the Romulan’s real loyalties, and then the final reveal that he was actually set up, it was pretty tragic. Also a nice little bit of continuity to have the same Romulan commander pop up again. I thought The Enemy was alright too but not noteworthy enough to give it a rating.

    I don’t know if it’s because I’ve watched 59 episodes of The Next Generation in just over a month or because I just woke up or whatever, but remembering specific details about those episodes is quite the challenge for me, lol. LaForge is left behind… meets some Romulan dude… convinces him to help him… some shit happens on the Enterprise. Another Romulan dude appears wanting to defect but he doesn’t do it particularly convincingly, gives a nice speech and Picard quotes Shakespeare or something. I enjoyed it while it was on, for sure.

    #242197
    Warbodog
    Participant

    They were probably trying to depict a sophisticated high-brow utopia with all the holodeck Shakespeare and string quartets, but when the more relaxed spin-offs come along with their more flawed characters who seem to spend a lot of time pissing about, it makes the 1701-D stand out as the elite and stuffy flagship in retrospect. Where you might be embarrassed to admit you’ve just never been that into 600-year-old, copyright-exempt entertainment from one specific continent.

    #242201
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I’ve never really “got” the whole thing about Shakespeare, the prestige it entails. I mean sure Macbeth is pretty good and he had quite the influence on many modern stories, but why is his work SO revered? Like why do people get rounds of applause for being able to quote a couple of lines from Hamlet, when I could recite the entirety of Jesus of Suburbia right now and at best people would just ask me nicely to stop? To me it’s a bit like jazz, where because there’s a slight barrier to entry (being able to actually understand it) it invites snobbery. I love Picard, but if my captain was constantly banging on about Henry VIII and classical music in real life I’d probably ask to be transferred to another ship.

    #242203

    I’M THE SON OF RAGE AND LOVE

    I’m with you Ben … but then maybe we just didn’t pay close enough attention in our English classes.
    I think it’s something to do with how he uses language and stuff, he sentence structure, how it’s poetic and powerful blah blah etc.

    Most of the plays themselves aren’t anything original … it’s like Disney doing fairy tales … but the way he wrote (a lot of which I’m told is quite funny when delivered correctly) was accessible to the masses and became a bed rock of English language.

    I suppose it has historical importance, but beyond that Shakespeare, it’s over!

    #242205
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Shakespeare’s an easy shorthand in pop culture for old writer bloke you’ve heard of, like Leonardo, Mozart and Beat-hoven in their fields. Mentioned in several Red Dwarf episodes as an easy target for Rimmer’s classical aspirations, before he changes his mind.

    There are lots of old writers whose works I love, but Shakespeare never really did anything for me. He’s the Romulans of English literature. I avoided him almost entirely during my degree, I thought it was more worthwhile to study Star Trek in-depth like some crazy millennial.

    I’ve seen… Forbidden Planet, that’s based on one of them.

    #242341
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Just finished Yesterday’s Enterprise… now THAT was a good episode. This is why I love sci-fi. For the kinds of stories you can tell, with lots of timey wimey bollocks, bringing characters back from the dead, raising the stakes to astronomical levels. The dynamic between a man who should have died in the past and a woman who should have died in the future. Allowing a character who died senselessly to die again in glory. The idea that one ship FAILING its mission in the past and being destroyed could be the catalyst through which the honour-bound Klingons find peace with the Federation. Cracking stuff.

    It ends a bit abruptly, there’s no real “whoosh, everything is okay now”, no time to calm down after it’s all over, but perhaps because of that, it sticks in your mind long after the credits have rolled. And that final line from Guinan to LaForge is supremely touching.

    #242374
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The Offspring actually made me cry, that was beautiful. Two incredible episodes in a row, shaw a show.

    #242375
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    What a show*

    #242377
    Warbodog
    Participant

    This is the good shit! I’d say from Deja Q on (because I love that lightweight comedy classic) they went up another gear and this is peak TNG now… with noticeable dips, admittedly.

    The Offspring: Best Data episode and one of the best TNG episodes. It even makes the reset button ending part of the story – Data just gets on with life unfazed and we have to grieve on his behalf. Racist funnyman Jim Davidson once referenced this episode on Big Break, trying to impress an Indian contestant by showing off that he knew a Hindi word (‘Lal’). He’s apparently a big Star Trek fan. Weird how these things work.

    Yesterday’s Enterprise: Classic, but didn’t wow me watching again after so long, maybe because I know it too well. Felt a bit like a City on the Edge + Mirror Mirror mash-up/reimagining, coming from the new season 3 writers who really know Star Trek and wanted to celebrate it. Don’t think it was even an anniversary or anything.

    A Matter of Perspective: Less interesting now I know the stylistic device is just Rashomon. Not that I’ve seen Rashomon, but I’ve seen several shows’ Rashomon episodes. Most interesting thing this time around was that the sexual harrassment claim against Riker isn’t considered worth investigating on its own right once the murder charge is dropped. We know he’s innocent, but weird that they raised that doubt just to leave it hanging.

    Deja Q: forget season-ending cliffhangers, best ending ever?

    #242452
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    People who recommend skipping the first two seasons are barmy, because then Yesterday’s Enterprise loses a lot of its impact, and you miss out on Measure of a Man et al.

    Déjà Q was fun, and A Matter of Perspective was interesting first time ’round at least. But whatever episode comes after that with Worf and his brother or whatever, man was I bored watching that. Totally fails to keep up the steam from the past two/three eps.

    #242455

    I actually think the first two series of TNG, whilst a little inconsistent to (what would later become) established Trek quality, are the closest the show comes to fulfilling its mission statement of exploring strange new worlds and new civilisations. From series 3 on wards The Enterprise D and it’s crew become a glorified taxi service, ferrying important diplomats around The Federation, very rarely interacting with any new species. Most of the time they’re interacting with known elements, known species, known civilisations.

    I love TNG for what it becomes but it isn’t the show of exploration it claims to be.

    Voyager on the other hand, by way of the fact they are stranded on the other side of the galaxy, basically hit something new every week (with some recurring races / characters every so often) and as much as it has it’s problems, it’s one of my favourite of the series because of it.

    #242456
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Early TNG is its own distinct entity bridging TOS and Proper TNG that I appreciate, but I’d recommend people avoid it if they just wanted to check out the series to see if they liked it or had seen it before but just wanted to watch a load of random episodes with a better chance of them not being ‘The Outrageous Okona.’

    If someone’s already decided they’re going to watch a show, I don’t know why they’d ask which bits they can skip and not be incredibly curious about the parts they’re not seeing or feel like they’re missing out. “Do I need to watch the Ninth Doctor?” Nah, just wonder forever what that might have been like and spend the time you could have been watching an episode and deciding for yourself asking this stupid question instead and reading the inevitably inconclusive replies.

    #242457
    Warbodog
    Participant

    That happened with me and Buffy. I caught one bad season 1 episode (‘The Pack’) that was all the bad things I’d assumed the series would be, so didn’t watch it again for years until my brother showed me season 4’s ‘Hush.’ Then I was in.

    #242611
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Eesh. Just read that they’ve confirmed one of the rumoured Discovery spin-offs focusing on Michelle Yeoh’s [ridiculous and completely unlikeable] character doing shady things for Starfleet’s Black Ops (which was introduced in a few decent DS9 episodes before getting out of hand).

    Didn’t even read past the headline before quitting that one, that’s a new record. Some of my favourite Trek episodes are when they go surprisingly dark and challenge the franchise’s lofty ideals, but making that the whole series? Oh well, I’ll inevitably end up watching the pilot at least. It’s all about the quality of writing, isn’t it?

    Discovery S2 starts this Thursday/Friday (depending on location). Can’t say I’m feeling very positive, but I liked some… a couple… one of the Short Treks, so they do have the ability to write decent stories, I hope they use it. I don’t mind if it’s not Star Trek, just make it worth watching please. For the record, I enjoyed season 1 more than late Voyager or all of Enterprise.

    #242664
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    It took me until S03E20 to realise Marina Sirtis is wearing contact lenses. I thought she just had really nice, dark brown/black eyes. When I saw Majel Barrett with black eyes I assumed it was just to make her look different from… Majel Barrett, and make her look a bit alien-y. But then I saw Tin Man and realise that holy shit, it’s a Betazoid thing and Trio has them, too. I thought those were just her eyes since I’ve never really seen her out of character.

    #242668
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I always noticed them on non-Troi Betazoids, I think I’d assumed that was because Marina Sirtis’ eyes were naturally like that so they made it a trait, but apparently not.

    Allegiance: Patrick Stewart lets his metaphorical hair down, pretty enjoyable Twilight Zone style mystery.

    Captain’s Holiday: Captain Picard lets his metaphorical hair down, pretty enjoyable Indiana Jones style mystery.

    Tin Man: feels like a classic Arthur C Clarke style sci-fi short story imported into Star Trek with the regular cast just observing and Romulans as functional villains, loved it.

    Next few excellent.

    #242872
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Christ, as if it wasn’t bad enough that Discovery is centred around a completely unlikeable character in Michael Burnham, they go and plan a spin off around Phillipa Georgiou who may well be the worst character in any Star Trek ever. I’d rather watch a sitcom based on the continuing adventures of Tom Paris and Janeway’s lizard children.

    #242874
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Discovery season 2 looks like a mild improvement. Lighter, maybe not trying to be an edgy Game of Thrones / Torchwood in space so much, more focus on the ensemble (who I mainly like). But it took me three sessions to get through the 1-hour episode, so not a great sign.

    People who claim it’s some kind of franchise-ruining abomination have forgotten how bad the last 5-6 years of the Berman era were. It’s not much of an improvement, but Trek’s not really been any good since late 1999.

    #242875
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    For me Enterprise did enough to elevate itself above Discovery, some episodes are fantastic Star Trek episodes not just fantastic Enterprise episodes, most of the characters are likeable, and the Xindi storyline was interesting and a brave choice quite well done mostly. It’s just a bit cheesetastic and Mayweather was acquired from Oak Furniture Land I think.

    Discovery has a long way to go. There’s no connection to any character on Discovery for me, they’re so unreal, the character they’ve tried to turn into “us” in Tilly, saying holy shit at everything is so out of universe it takes you out of the show. I honestly can’t say I like any of them. Maybe if they start making it more Star Trek in tone and have a few stories about other less miserable characters I might find some enjoyment in it, but thus far it’s been a hard old slog.

    #242876
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I want to like all this stuff, since I don’t get any catharsis from hating, so if Enterprise was on now I’d be finding excuses to like that too, but the characters were the biggest weakness in that series for me, they’re close to blank slates in my memory. I only properly watched series 3 and 4 later on, because they sounded interesting, but didn’t leave much of an impression, as Discovery presumably won’t either.

    I liked Discovery’s weird sci-fi angle with the spores and tardigrades early on, but that seemed to get abandoned in the general chaos of the revolving showrunners and improvised arcs. After this, Doctor Who and X-Files, I should probably take the hint to stop being played by franchise loyalty and spend my precious viewing time on more original things. But I’m not that smart.

    #242877
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Isn’t that weird sci-fi stuff all stolen from an early access game on Steam or something? There’s a lawsuit.

    I think T’Pol, Trip, Malcolm and Phlox are all likeable, interesting characters, T’Pol and Trip had actual good development throughout too in my opinion.

    Know what you mean though about franchise loyalty, everything is disappointing now haha.. hopefully the Picard show is at least decent.

    #242878
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I didn’t know about that. It is suspect. Could be a good game too, good old point-and-click.

    So the only thing in Discovery that was original isn’t even original?

    …Yeah, maybe Discovery can fuck off.

    #242910
    Dave
    Participant

    I think that Star Trek probably has to reach outside its core fanbase if it’s going to continue to survive, and I think Discovery does that pretty well. Certainly I know of a lot of people who aren’t usually into Star Trek who are watching it and enjoying it.

    As someone who has watched a bit of Star Trek over the years but isn’t a dedicated fan, I think Discovery is quite good fun.

    #242948
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Things like Star Wars, Doctor Who and Star Trek trying to reach outside their core fanbases really annoys me, because I am their core fanbase, and trying to appeal to others inevitably means no longer appealing to me. I would rather the franchises die while staying true to themselves than radically alter themselves to be trendy. but I’m selfish like that. Obviously the people who run these franchises and whose livelihoods rely on them continuing aren’t going to agree with me.

    #242949
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    They could have made a new Star Trek minus the cheese and still had the more adult theme, without it being Star Trek in name and technobabble only which feels a bit like what Discovery is. At the very least give a shit about continuity, or don’t make it Star Trek.

    When your core fanbase is as huge as Star Trek’s, do you really need to throw it all out the window and make a gritty dark scifi show that mostly annoys fans?

    #242951
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    There seems to be a culture of picturing “fans” as a couple thousand sweaty, fat middle aged men who they just don’t need to appeal to anymore, so if they can get a new generation of young, sexy people who like Game of Thrones and Facebook on board then it will work out better for them in the long run. Maybe they’ve looked at their numbers and that is indeed the case, and there are millions of new fans out there who will keep the money flowing, but obviously to someone like me it’s more than a little disappointing, and almost offensive.

    #242952
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    I’m hoping the lawsuit takes Discovery down and we get a real Star Trek.

    The Kelvin movies are at least in a new timeline when they piss about with continuity and even then, feel more like Star Trek, you can make a popular Star Trek without having tits and f-bombs to get the HBO crowd.

    Going after that market with Star Trek is like trying to get an entry into F1 with a superbike, they’re so disparate they shouldn’t be seeking the same audience, you can enjoy both, I do myself, but you don’t enjoy them for the same reasons and that’s ok.

    #242953
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I heard from a couple of YouTube videos that the Kelvin timeline movies are legally required to be different from “Star Trek” by an arbitrary percentage (however the fuck you can quantify that) due to the bullshit between CBS and Paramount, is that true? I also heard that fact attributed to Discovery as well, despite it not being so in the previous videos.

    #242954
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Since I was raised on Red Dwarf, I’m not bothered about continuity at all, just quality. Discovery actually needs less fan service right now.

    #242955
    Warbodog
    Participant

    That contractual thing sounds as credible as the Terry Nation estate conspiracy, more like something you’d make up so you can churn out lazy YouTube content for the lucrative angry fan market.

    If “different from Star Trek” means avoiding established concepts, Discovery and JJ Trek both rely heavily (I would say WAY TOO MUCH) on established canon – TOS characters, Enterprise, Khan, Klingons, Mirror Universe, Section 31 – at the cost of coming up with their own ideas, and have lots of Easter-egg type background references, much more than any of the pre-Enterprise series that were more reluctant to reference the past and went to the other ends of the galaxy to avoid it.

    #242956
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    I don’t care about small continuity, like Kochanski, minor character in about 4 minutes of Red Dwarf, but big stuff annoys me, especially when the lore of the in show universe is interesting enough to keep intact. Also sloppy stuff that contradicts stuff that’s already been in an episode.

    I watched all of series 1 of Discovery and found it about as much fun as it’s opening titles to be honest, I thought it was getting better in the middle but that was a peak. It’s founded on misguided fanwankery, stick Spock in the premise and execs think they’ve got a winner, fans think for fuck sake do something new Christ almighty save me from retcons and rehashes.

    #242957
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Bringing back a famous face used to be a treat for special occasions, but when they’re just recasting dead actors it does nothing for me and I’d be surprised if it did for anyone. At least the Picard series will have the actual Picard in it.

    My favourite Discovery-related thing has been the ‘Calypso’ Short Trek, which was disconnected, unfamiliar and unresolved. I quite liked the one on the planet with the vibrating crystals or whatever, because it was familiar Trek exploring a strange new world and new life, without just being a rip-off like when they did ‘Cause and Effect’ again.

    #242958
    Dave
    Participant

    It’s founded on misguided fanwankery, stick Spock in the premise and execs think they’ve got a winner, fans think for fuck sake do something new

    As someone who knows a small amount about Star Trek but hasn’t watched much, none of this stuff bothers me. So the lead character has a connection to Spock, so what? He isn’t overused in the show to the extent it distracts from the rest of what they’re doing.

    None of the ‘fanwankery’ stuff really bothers me because I hardly notice it, I don’t pick up on all the references etc. I assume that stuff is just there as a nod and a wink to fans, which you’d expect for a long-running franchise.

    It feels like half the time Star Trek fans are shitting on Discovery for being too unlike a Star Trek series, and half the time they’re shitting on it for relying too much on established Star Trek ideas. It’s like the Simpsons scene with the kids’ focus group for cartoons.

    #242959
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I did used to find the old-school Battlestar Galactica fans funny, with their supposed ‘GINO’ slur (Galactica In Name Only), since I never watched the old show. Presumably they weren’t delighted about the recasting and gender swapping of characters who were important to them. Deal with it, granddad!

    Oh.

    I like it when they do new things and leave the comfort zone, that applies for Trek across the board. Klinging on to the old trappings so much and drafting in familiar characters comes across as a lack of confidence in their own show, but maybe that’s just how things have to be now in post-Force-Awakens-trailer society. Hopefully they’ll get over the nostalgic panic before long, most of the other series took a few years to really work out what they were doing.

    #242960

    I’ve never understood why people get so worked up about remakes. As if it erases or changes the original in anyway. Both can live side by side as different versions of the same story, it’s fine. And if the remakes gets a new fans to go back and explore the source material, surely that’s a good thing?

    Ditto with Discovery or the Kelvin verse trek. The Kelvin verse doesn’t take away from TOS, nor does Discovery change that much established lore in the way some people keep insisting it does. So the visuals are a bit different … well fuck me if things haven’t changed in the last 50 years!

    Even where there are discrepancies in continuity, TOS was all over the shop with it too and really the bedrock for Star Trek continuity and lore stems from TNG onwards, borrowing from TOS when it needed too and ignoring things that don’t make sense leaving fans to headcanon their own reasons why things are the way they are.

    given Discovery is set in a period of the shows history that is the least explored so imo they’re free to tell whatever stories they want.

    #242963
    Lily
    Participant

    I’ve not watched Discovery or any of the new films, as there seems to have been a huge tonal shift in recent years. Old Trek was primarily about the drama, the stories being told. Any action sequences were there to move the story along. New Trek feels like it’s flipped that around. The focus is on the action and the story is just there to get you from one action set piece to the next.

    I’d be happy to be corrected on that, but it’s certainly the impression I’ve got from the bits and pieces of the new stuff that I’ve seen.

    #242967

    Film wise there’s definitely a lot of action (though that’s true of a lot of Star Trek films) though there are some good stories there.

    Discovery series 1is yeah, probably more action heavy than you’re used to in a ST series, though it does take place during a time of war. I actually didn’t like the series much but that’s because I found the story boring for the most part.

    Series 2, first episode shows a lot of promise for the rest of it … looks like it might be dialing it back a bit.

    If you want something that is the same in tone as 90s trek then you won’t get it, but that doesn’t make then altogether bad … just different.

    #242969
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I’ve enjoyed new and experimental (Heaven Sent) things in Doctor Who, as well as things that have subverted my expectations (Hell Bent), but hated such things in Star Wars. The thing with the Who stuff is that it was very respectful of the show it was a part of and was reaching outwith the confines of its own format in a way that was almost celebratory of the format. With Trek and Wars, it’s as if they’re embarrassed of their legacy, and don’t actually want to be making their new show under the old beans and are only doing so for increased exposure. Whether something is traditional or experimental is not indicative of quality on its own, both approaches can end up being wonderful or disastrous.

    #242973
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    The reason stuff like this annoys me is because I recognize the potential of these franchises to continue to make terrific and impactful stories in the traditions set up by the previous installments, if given to somebody who actually wants to and is capable of doing so. But then they hand them over to (what I perceive as) talentless hacks who would be better off making something else

    #242979
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Even as a lukewarm viewer, I’d say Discovery is more worth watching than YouTube videos discussing why something you’re not watching isn’t worth watching, which would also spoil plot developments if you ever were watching.

    #242995
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Fair, I’ve mostly heard these ideas in videos that at best have a fairly tenuous link to Discovery itself (and of course I watch RedLetterMedia who have done several videos on it), and the “arbitrary percentage of difference” schtick was featured in a video which purported to be a complete overview of how the rights to the brand were split between CBS and Paramount. It does sound like a load of baloney at first, but given that the rest of the video was presented fairly documentary-like and I assume factually, it was given some credibility, alongside being brought up in a handful of other videos from different channels. But yes it’s most likely like the Nation Estate’s Daleks-Once-A-Year conspiracy, where it just so happens to fit nicely into what we know as well as confirming people’s biases, providing a nice explanation for why Star Trek is different now, that isn’t just “this ain’t your old Trek anymore, grandpa.”

    I’m a long way from reaching Discovery myself, yet.

    Back to TNG discussion, Sarek was pretty decent, nice to see an old face from TOS again, and very interesting that the Vulcan equivalent of dementia would be a gradual incapability to control one’s emotions. A shame they had to give him a second wife, it feels as though the episode was written with his first wife in mind, but when the actress proved unavailable they recast her and chucked in one line to handwave it away (or something). I thought they were going to go the whole episode without mentioning Spock once, which I was going to also say was interesting, but they slipped him in near the end. It was very strange how the preparations for and the conference with the Legarans was given such importance throughout the episode, only to be completely skipped over with an “everything went really well btw” at the end, without us even seeing what a Legaran looked like. Disappointing.

    Pretty funny how the “no character conflicts ever” rule from Roddenberry makes just Wesley and Geordi having a slightly heated argument a huge deal and cause for concern. Some great zingers, too: “You’d get more action from a book” and “at least I don’t have to get my women from the holodeck.” I also just had to look up if the whole open-handed-punch thing was a legitimate move and not just some Shatneresque jumping-off-of-walls bullshit, and apparently it is.

    #243001
    Warbodog
    Participant

    I thought I was being unfair and regretted typing it to you as general venting about the proliferation of negative channels, but okay!

    Sarek’s first wife would likely be old and dead by that time, even by future lifespans, so I thought they were just being attentive. That episode mainly stood out to me for Patrick Stewart’s incredible performance at the end.

    Did you ever watch Star Trek IV & V or didn’t feel like it? I feel like you would have mentioned V. I enjoy negativity when the subject is actually fun to rip apart and not just a downer.

    #243023
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Spock as a call back for fans is from the handy writer’s reference work “The Big Bang Theory; Sheldon Cooper’s Big Book of Subtlety”.

    Don’t mind a call back, or something weaving in with canon, but having Spock’s sister is just a writer shouting “PLEASE WATCH MY SHOW, I KNOW STAR TREK, LOOK SPOCK, DILITHIUM CRYSTALS, I NEED TO FEED MY FAMILY” haha.. Have a bit of confidence and write something new.

    It’ll be interesting anyway to see what happens with this lawsuit, because if it turns out that Discovery is just that guys videogame with Starfleet and references in it that’s going to be quite the cock up from CBS.

    #243030
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    That’s a good point about his first wife probably being dead by that point, I didn’t even consider the length of time that would have elapsed for her between TOS and TNG.

    I have some weird complex where I avoid films because they’re “too long” (but will watch three 50-minute episodes instead) and experiencing something I expect to be excellent and important such as the legendary Star Trek IV fills me with anxiety that either I’m not in the right headspace to fully appreciate it, or I will be disappointed to find it isn’t as good as I expect it to be. If V was next on my list I probably would have watched it by now, but I really should throw on IV at some point, perhaps after season three of TNG finishes, just to get a little break from the relative monotony of 90 episodes of the same show in such a short span.

    I do agree a little with GlenTokyo that some attempts to throw longtime fans a bone feel like just that – hollow attempts to keep us interested in these new characters and situations by giving them some tenuous link to ones we are familiar with. It goes back to Warbofrogs idea of less fan service, and of it being preferable for a show or movie to just blaze its new trail with confidence, rather than to try and pretend you give a sack about what came before.

    #243035
    Warbodog
    Participant

    IV would have been best after II & III since it wraps up the loose trilogy, although quite the tonal shift! There’s never a best time for V.

    IV was the first Star Trek I saw, on TV around the time I first saw Red Dwarf with VI or maybe slightly earlier, so I’m very close to it and when I watch it every decade or so the combination of nostalgia and its totally heavy-handed but real ecological message make me weep.

    I can see it being weird and divisive today though – the most mainstream and accessible Star Trek at the time, in today’s sci-fi-friendly climate it might potentially be one of the least?

    #243045
    Dave
    Participant

    When your core fanbase is as huge as Star Trek’s, do you really need to throw it all out the window and make a gritty dark scifi show that mostly annoys fans?

    Have a bit of confidence and write something new.

    Which is it?

    #243046
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    >Which is it?

    You can write something new without pissing all over the established tone and lore.

    #243047
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Why keep congesting the timeline, faffing about around TOS, limiting yourself because we all know how it ends. You’ve got one of the most fleshed out universes to explore, move it forward so we don’t know what’s coming.

    DS9 and Voyager are different to each other and TNG and they’re from the same people within a few years, yet the best they could do in the 15 years since ENT is rip off some blokes game and stick Spock, klingon tits and swearing in it.

    #243049
    Dave
    Participant

    Hopefully it’s clear that I’m being a bit facetious, but I do hear people complain that Discovery is both too rooted in Star Trek lore and too much of a departure from the Star Trek tone in equal measure.

    Those things aren’t mutually exclusive though, and I can understand fans wanting a new show that pushes the world of Star Trek forwards while still honouring what came before in terms of the show’s outlook and tone.

    As a casual viewer I find Discovery quite an easy show to like – there’s a light, playful tone, it’s fast-moving and incident-packed, and the cast are all pretty good in the roles they’ve been given. I can understand why some fans think that it doesn’t feel like Star Trek, though.

    #243051
    Hamish
    Participant

    > Which is it?

    The other possible answer to this question of course would be to make a new science fiction television show that is not Star Trek.

    A new generation can enjoy a new show without needing to bank on nostalgia to get it funded.

    #243053
    Dave
    Participant

    I think a recognisable brand is about more than just nostalgia. Otherwise the only people interested in this would be existing Star Trek fans.

    I checked it out as the latest incarnation of something I vaguely knew about, to see if it worked better for me than the previous Star Trek TV incarnations that haven’t grabbed me so much – and I liked it.

    I’m not saying the longtime Star Trek fans who dislike Discovery are wrong – I can understand their position and their resistance to the show. But it has successfully appealed outside the fanbase, which I’m sure was a hope for the series.

    #243059
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I know you were being facetious, but “which is it” reeks of “well TFA was criticised for being too similar to the OT, and TLJ was criticised for being too different, therefore you Star Wars fans will never be happy”, which is a pet peeve argument of mine. Those films and I gather this TV show are criticised for more than -just- being “too different” or “too rooted in the originals”.

    Just watched TNG S03E25 “Transfigurations”, and it struck me how the amnesiac dude is the spitting image of another character from a Scrubs episode who is also named John Doe iirc and who also suffers amnesia. It’s a shame that his ethereal transformation is so obviously some guy in a morph suit, complete with creases and shoddy looking nose. I wonder if it was less obvious on non-HD televisions of the 80s or if it always looked naff – they could have done with turning up the exposure on it or something.

    Beverly Crusher remains one of my favourite characters, I think I’m a little bit in love with her, she’s so warm and caring, and her relationship with Picard fills me with life. Even scenes with her and Wil Wheaton together are bearable because their chemistry and her performance is always fantastic.

    #243063
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Menage a Troi and Transfigurations are annoying interruptions in an otherwise great run. The former playing human trafficking for laughs and with Lwaxana’s public racist diatribe against Ferengi somehow being okay. Transfigurations is a pure Star Trek story but very boring, and I was struck by the return of technobabble with a vengeance after it had somehow been absent for a while.

    Next episode’s probably alright. Nothing special or legendary or anything.

    #243064
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    I wanted to get rid of Lwaxana for good and I thought we were getting rid of Wesley, so that episode did little other than annoy me. Although it was nice to see Riker and Troi spending some time together. I quite like technobabble to be honest, I love pretending I understand what the fuck they’re going on about and being like “hmm yes, great idea Geordie, realign the warp matrices on the aft nacelle and couple them to the forward flux transducers, THAT oughta fix it!”

    #243065
    Warbodog
    Participant

    It just used to wash over me, but when the Treknobabble’s really full-on I enjoy it a lot as an unintended joke. Levar Burton does a great job making the nonsense credible. Esteemed thespian Sir Patrick Stewart less so. (Future preview, but not really a spoiler since it’s just the start of an episode).

    #243066
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    Just finished Best of Both Worlds Part One, now THAT is a cliffhanger. The music is incredible, too. They do just enough DUN DUNs before it would get ridiculous

    #243067
    Warbodog
    Participant

    BOBW 1 is so tense and foreboding. It spends so long setting up Riker’s reluctance to take command and introducing a possible replacement first officer that I can understand why viewers at the time thought Patrick Stewart might be leaving for real. I don’t know if that was ever a serious possibility, but it doesn’t just feel like “yeah whatever, he’ll obviously be normal again next time” as much as it would otherwise.

    It’s widely credited for kicking off the season ending cliffhanger trope in TV, but I recently discovered that Blake’s 7’s season 2 finale is quite similar from 11 years earlier. UK viewers were denied the BOBW cliffhanger though, since the BBC always played both parts together as a feature length, at least in the 90s. They did that for some other two-parters too.

    #243068
    Dave
    Participant

    Of course, if not for the cliffhanger ending in Red Dwarf’s ‘Out Of Time’, there wouldn’t have been a cliffhanger ending in TNG.

    #243108
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Watching some Voyager at the moment, continuing a complete rewatch I started ages ago. Some great episodes in season 6 which I’d forgot about.

    #243244
    Warbodog
    Participant

    Discovery continues to be fine but not very interesting for me. It feels like I’m watching a direct sequel series to Enterprise, as if all the years away haven’t reinvigorated the franchise and it’s just carrying on from that point in the early 2000s where things were watchable but already played out. With about 500+ episodes of Star Trek set on a spaceship, maybe over-familiarity is just inevitable.

    I’m glad Spock isn’t dominating as feared (unless he will be), and Pike is true to that character as I know him. He’s relatively obscure and was already recast within the original series, so it doesn’t have the same issue as stepping into Nimoy’s boots.

    #243263
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    With the Thanks for the Memories debacle, here’s a reminder from Star Trek Discovery that spelling mistakes can come in worse forms.

    #243264
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    If you do two simulations concurrently can you call them a simultation?

    #243265
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    There’s a great playlist from the maker of that video of all Discovery’s continuity issues and interviews with the showrunner who seems to be a complete pillock, all humerously edited. There’s also a Tardigrades video which illustrates just how obviously ripped off it is.

    #243266
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Here it is

    #243267
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    >1 of 40
    Lol.
    I don’t like how so many YouTube people use the CGI remaster shots of TOS for their videos, I think they’re really ugly and fake looking, and if you’re going for authenticity with the original show, surely you’d use clips from the way it was originally shown? I dunno

    #243268
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Are they the ones on Netflix? I assume all internet video is ripped off streaming sites due to ease so that’s probably why if they are.

    #243269
    GlenTokyo
    Participant

    Just on Discovery, a few days ago we were on about Spock being in it and tying it to the old show in too big a way, I mean outside of Spock’s sister the next thing would be having an alien character that’s Kirk’s lovechild from a rapidly aging race like the ocompans.

    It got me thinking about other series ties to the original crew and I thought of Tuvok, admittedly that’s more to do with Tim Russ, but it’s a nice subtle link and doesn’t really contradict or inform anything, but adds to the depth. That’s a good level to aim at to please the Trekkies.

    #243270
    Ben Saunders
    Participant

    It probably is the versions available on Netflix. I don’t want to know. They list The Cage as the first episode, for fuck sake, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Best of Both Worlds part two adequately wraps up the story and is clever in places and engaging and emotional etc, but it didn’t -quite- match the quality of part one, and everything came to a stop a little quickly again, with not much time to reflect. Judging by the Netflix synopsis of the next episode, perhaps that will deal more with the fallout of what happened, so Part Two will fit more nicely into the grand scheme of things. Overall I’d give part one 9/10 and part two 7/10.

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