Jump to content
Werthead

Star Trek Thread: Set Picard to Stun (spoilers)

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, Werthead said:

In fact, even TNG outright said that the happy-happy utopia of the Federation core worlds meant very little on the harder edges of space where there were shady pleasure planets (even Risa had a dark side), dodgy junkyards and brutal places inhabited by hostile forces.

That’s the thing though, the picture that Picard is painting is that this bleakness has taken hold in Starfleet as well. DS9 had some rough times, but what they were fighting for was still Federation ideals, they wanted to be able to continue their way of life. Granted, we don’t know the full picture yet and there’s certainly an element of Starfleet that has been compromised. But we know they definitely abandoned the Romulans to the extent that Picard believed it wasn’t the same organisation anymore. I’m open to there being darker places on the fringes, but it doesn’t seem all together necessary to drag in everything we knew and cherished from the 90’s along with it. 
 

It doesn’t help that we seem to have half a dozen shows that are desperate not to be a ship exploring space. We could do with what Voyager was to DS9 for the modern age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Federation being in a darker place in 2399 compared to 2364 makes sense. When TNG started, the Federation had enjoyed over 70 years of stability: the Romulans had gone isolationist, the Klingons had become allies and the few conflicts the Federation had sustained (such as with the Cardassians) had been relatively short and contained. That allowed the Federation to become a truly utopian, post-scarcity society with high-minded ideals because no one was around to challenge those ideals.

 

I believe the war with the Caradassians lasted 4 or 5 years and was quite bloody, from what we've been told. Sure it was nothing compared to the Dominion War, but not the small event that you seem to believe it is. I mean if you want to defend the poor direction this show is taking things, that's fine, but I'm personally not a fan. It honestly feels like the writers of this series and Discovery are more interested in writing stories in the Mirror Universe, if anything, where everything is dark and depressing.

Star Trek is suppose to be a hopeful series, not some dark dystopia and that's honestly what the writers of "New Trek" seem to be more interested in writing.

Edited by sifth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Werthead said:

They didn't get the original actor back because the original actor was a fucking tool.

I was being tactfully understated, but this is what I meant yes :P

As for the tone of the show, for some people that feel we are facing a pretty comparable trend in western democracies in the real world at the moment the depiction of people fighting against the trend to keep us from losing ourselves, and presumably winning, *is* the hopeful story.

When you lose your belief that we could ever get to the place that people would no longer have to fight to stay good, then the pure utopianism is unbelievable fantasy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that while the Cardassian war was violent, it was a fairly contained conflict. Starfleet at that time was probably too stretched (given the size of the Federation) to give it its full attention. It was maybe on/off at times.

Certainly I never got the imprrssion the Federation considered them a threat. Hell, we see a single starship (the Phoenix, Nebula class) fucking the Cardassian fleet up on its own - even after Picard hands over the shield frequency. And I think the Phoenix had a sensor array rather than a torpedo launcher. I don’t remember seeing any torpedo launcher on the ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My two cents.

The problem I might have is that the -sicio-political- issue here lies with the Federation -and humanity- itself.

In previous Trek shows, humanity had solved its problems (i.e. the Cold War and racism to state the obvious ones) and those were then recreated in the interactions with different entities (Klingons, Romulans, Ferengi... etc). It made for an optimistic setting while commenting on said issues.

In Picard, we're back to a more traditional setting in which even humanity and the Federation are struggling with very basic issues (refugees, racism, ... etc) and Picard himself is like a dying ember of optimism in an otherwise much darker universe.
And the problem of that that the writers have backed themselves into a corner: if the show wants to be even moderately optimistic (as befit Trek), the end of the show should have a kind of "happy ending," but given how dark the starting point is, that will stretch the suspension of disbelief and seem naive. Conversely if they don't give us a happy ending, it will end up being a bleak commentary on our own world (and it already is I'd say, given hundreds of millions of Romulans were left to die).

So yeah, whichever way you look at it, this show does not respect the spirit of Trek.
 

Edited by Rippounet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2020 at 1:59 AM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Melinda Snodgrass who created the Character of “Bruce Maddox” in The Measure of a Man is apparently not getting paid for the character she created as she is supposed to be under the Writer’s Guild rules.

Surely she will press that further? It's not like she will get future payments.

Some people seem really upset about the gore at the start which i really don't get (wert listed some good examples of when trek has done similar/worse). I totally get people being upset about the dark turn trek has taken since returning to TV but would not cite the depiction of violence as a problem.

I thought the reason they were taking borg tech out without painkillers was just some form of "can't extract it properly if unconscious". Then again the surgeon maybe doesn't give a shit like when fishermen beat an octopus senseless or farmers bleed out animals without sedation.

One good thing about Picard is that it's not set on board a starfleet ship so while i also don't like a lot of the cynical implications i can accept it as "this is what happens beneath the veneer of starfleet". It's not like earlier shows never hinted at sinister aspects of the federation with secret divisions and them openly developing WMDs. 

Picard could arguably be taking too strong a stance regarding Romulus. Logistically it seemed impossible anyhow and politically it could have caused major upset. Maybe starfleet simply couldn't do it?

I think I'll get more upset when we start seeing other next gen characters apparently sitting back doing nothing or the latest enterprise being a warship and bombing planets in the name of peace. It's not impossible given the current tone of the shows.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, karaddin said:

As for the tone of the show, for some people that feel we are facing a pretty comparable trend in western democracies in the real world at the moment the depiction of people fighting against the trend to keep us from losing ourselves, and presumably winning, *is* the hopeful story. 

When you lose your belief that we could ever get to the place that people would no longer have to fight to stay good, then the pure utopianism is unbelievable fantasy. 

The thing is, they aren't depicted as winning. Heck, they aren't even depicted as fighting. Picard just pissed off for 30 years and did nothing and now he is off to save the Cylon girl, not even getting tangentially involved in politics except for a few ineffective angry rants at the sky here and there.

Also I don't really understand your last sentence. Do you believe that we as a society can reach a point where we don't have to fight to keep it? Because if yes, then that's the opposite message of the show, given that it basically says that people will always remain shitty no matter what. Or is your meaning along the lines of McCoys "Evil usually triumphs unless good is very, very careful" line? Of course that's a message I could get behind if that is what the show intends to do. After all individual humans can still be pretty shitty, even in a society that "made it". That's something previous Trek has done numerous times with every evil admiral story ever. But it doesn't seem to be the course this show is going. It prefers to just wallow in self-pity and nihilism, showing that the best times are already over and will never come back because evil people will always be in charge.

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Toth said:

So... loosing lots of ships and having some planets devestated makes you forget that replicators and transporters make you a post-scarcity society and be insufferably racist towards your ally in that war.

The Romulans responded to victory in the Dominion War by attempting to steal Federation technology (in Voyager), destroy the Federation outright (in Nemesis, although #notallromulans) and attack the very forces that were trying to help them (in the 09 movie). Some conservative and regressive elements in the Federation - the same type who tried to strip-mine the Bak'u homeworld against their wishes, sold out dozens of colonies to the Cardassians, tried to launch a coup against the Federation President and sanctioned the murder of a Romulan senator - were very likely to say, in Kirk's own words, "Let them die."

Not sure what you mean by "forgetting replicators and transporters." The new show has made it clear that they have done neither.

The Federation is also still transitioning to being post-scarcity, being somewhere between The Expanse and The Culture. Previous shows established that replicators are great for small items like food and clothes, and components for larger items (like shuttles), but can't replicate entire starships (the bit rate error becomes unsustainable on large scales). Replicators also require you to pour energy into them; if you don't have a viable energy source, which might not be available on frontier worlds, you can't replicate things at will and have to ration things (as per Voyager).

Quote

That’s the thing though, the picture that Picard is painting is that this bleakness has taken hold in Starfleet as well. DS9 had some rough times, but what they were fighting for was still Federation ideals, they wanted to be able to continue their way of life. Granted, we don’t know the full picture yet and there’s certainly an element of Starfleet that has been compromised. But we know they definitely abandoned the Romulans to the extent that Picard believed it wasn’t the same organisation anymore. I’m open to there being darker places on the fringes, but it doesn’t seem all together necessary to drag in everything we knew and cherished from the 90’s along with it. 

I think this is a more telling comment, that people are nostalgic for 1990s Trek and want to see more of that even though 1990s Trek had become stale, safe and predictable long before the decade ended, and a lot of it has aged poorly (at the moment I'm enjoying Voyager's "Let's be massively racist about the Irish" phase which it was doing in the year 2000, let alone when TNG did it in 1988).

I'm also not sure about this "abandoning the Romulans" thing. I think it's more a case that helping the Romulans was simply massively impractical. Building tens or hundreds of thousands of warp-capable ships able to move 900 million people numerous light-years in the space of a few months to a couple of years was borderline impossible, and once the synth attack took place, wrecking most of that work, it appears to have not been possible to have carried out the operation on the same scale. It sounds like the Romulans themselves, other powers and individual ships (probably many of them from the Federation anyway) did join in the evacuation and did help move a huge chunk of the population (Romulus's full population was probably a lot more than 900 million), but it was not possible to save all of them.

It was the Federation refusing to even try to re-mount the rescue operation after the setback which disgusted Picard, not the Federation saying "We're not even going to bother trying," in the first place. The Federation made the effort, suffered colossal losses in the process and decided that it could not remount the effort in time. Picard disagreed.

People also seem to be forgetting that the evacuation was a fall-back plan in case Spock's red matter project did not succeed; we know with hindsight it did not succeed, but at the time it was hoped it would.

Quote

 

It doesn’t help that we seem to have half a dozen shows that are desperate not to be a ship exploring space. We could do with what Voyager was to DS9 for the modern age.

 

What, much worse and often outright crap?

We already have those shows, 729 episodes (pre-Discovery) and thirteen movies. One of the reasons they haven't done a new starship exploration show is that they've run out of stories to tell and that was a problem long before Voyager ended, let alone Enterprise. If they sat down and did Star Trek: The Next Next Generation with a focus on episodic storytelling and exploration, how long before the Enterprise-F or G or whatever confronts a subspace anomaly which inverts the warp field, leading to a crewman travelling in time to a week last Tuesday and upsetting the space/time manifold? How long would they last before the first holodeck malfunction, or a doomed romance with an alien from a biologically/culturally incompatible species?

The "standard Star Trek" paradigm has been wrung dry. There's not much else you can do there beyond having a more serialised, epic kind of storytelling or going really weird (which arguably Discovery did on both counts).

Quote

 

I believe the war with the Caradassians lasted 4 or 5 years and was quite bloody, from what we've been told. Sure it was nothing compared to the Dominion War, but not the small event that you seem to believe it is. I mean if you want to defend the poor direction this show is taking things, that's fine, but I'm personally not a fan. It honestly feels like the writers of this series and Discovery are more interested in writing stories in the Mirror Universe, if anything, where everything is dark and depressing.

 

The conflict with the Cardassians was an intermittent, low-level conflict lasting around 12 years which had several flare-ups (resulting in the battles O'Brien, Picard and Janeway all took part in). The Federation - a much vaster, more populous and richer force - would have demolished the Cardassians in about 15 minutes if they'd deployed their entire fleet to focus on the war, but they were overstretched defending a colossal region of space and they also wanted a peaceful solution to the war.

Quote

 

 Star Trek is suppose to be a hopeful series, not some dark dystopia and that's honestly what the writers of "New Trek" seem to be more interested in writing.

 

I don't see the "new Trek" being a dark dystopia at all. Things have taken a regressive turn in some respects, but that's realistic given both the context of the previous shows, pre-existing lore and historical precedent. The pendulum also swings the other way, which I suspect is the overall story arc of this series.

It's also noteworthy that the idea of Star Trek as a utopian vision of the future is something that TNG very much introduced; it was not really present in the original series, which made it clear that 23rd Century humanity was better than its forebears, but not perfect or pure in the way that TNG wanted to be (and ultimately proved unsustainable). Discovery and Picard (and even Enterprise, to a much lesser extent) are more of a return to the spirit of TOS than abandoning Star Trek principles outright.

Quote

So yeah, whichever way you look at it, this show does not respect the spirit of Trek.

This is some gatekeepery nonsense right here.

I lived through the 1987 launch of TNG and the absolute seething hatred of the new show, which "did not respect the spirit of Trek" and "didn't have enough alien babes" and "not enough action," and "not enough exploration" and that was a show that Roddenberry was involved in. I recall the outright, outrageous racism that accompanied the launch of DS9 and the "tokenism" of casting a black lead actor. I remember the rampant misogyny that accompanied the launch of Voyager.

In each case it was, "Star Trek is this thing and can only be this thing ever," "This show does not conform to my personal definition of Star Trek so it doesn't count and everyone who thinks otherwise isn't a Real Fan." It's limiting, exclusionary and bullying.

It's fine to say, "I don't like this," and "this episode has problems" but saying "this isn't Star Trek and you're not a real Star Trek fan if you believe otherwise" is garbage.

Quote

 

Melinda Snodgrass who created the Character of “Bruce Maddox” in The Measure of a Man is apparently not getting paid for the character she created as she is supposed to be under the Writer’s Guild rules.

 

Is there a source for this? There are a number of recent interviews, podcasts and tweets from Snodgrass where she says that she was flattered that her storyline and characters were being used, but there is no mention I can find that there is a legal issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Is there a source for this? There are a number of recent interviews, podcasts and tweets from Snodgrass where she says that she was flattered that her storyline and characters were being used, but there is no mention I can find that there is a legal issue

Yes.  From Melinda Snodgrass’s facebook page:

Yep, CBS owes me a character creation payment.


 

She mentions down her thread that she will let the Writer’s Guild of America do her fighting for her.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Werthead said:

I think this is a more telling comment, that people are nostalgic for 1990s Trek and want to see more of that even though 1990s Trek had become stale, safe and predictable long before the decade ended, and a lot of it has aged poorly (at the moment I'm enjoying Voyager's "Let's be massively racist about the Irish" phase which it was doing in the year 2000, let alone when TNG did it in 1988).

It had become a little stale, but there’s not many aspects of 90’s Trek I want to see. Pretty much one in fact: optimism. I completely agree that shows have moved away from episodic stories, and any modern Trek would need to have at least a partially serialised format. It’s worth noting that The Orville seems successful enough (I assume? It hasn’t been cancelled at least), so there’s clearly an audience for it.  I don’t have too many issues with Discovery, it’s just such a massive shame they set it when they did. I’d love it if the Discovery was flying the flag for the classic exploration end of things, while we had these off shoot shows doing there thing. 
 

It just feels like ever since TNG, they’ve been tacking, trying to come up with different takes: a space station, the delta quadrant, the past, the past again, Picard, Section 31, an animated comedy, maybe another prequel with Pike, some more shows maybe? Maybe with so many fans saying ‘can we have a Federation starship please’ it’s finally time to do something more obvious and not left field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, DaveSumm said:

It just feels like ever since TNG, they’ve been tacking, trying to come up with different takes: a space station, the delta quadrant, the past, the past again, Picard, Section 31, an animated comedy, maybe another prequel with Pike, some more shows maybe? Maybe with so many fans saying ‘can we have a Federation starship please’ it’s finally time to do something more obvious and not left field.

But doing what? That goes back to the point made earlier, that there is a limit in what you can do with a starship in space, doing stuff. Removing DS9's more space station-focused storylines (although they had quite a few runabout and Defiant-based "standard Star Trek" stories), that's 554 episodes set on a starship exploring space, both in the Federation and far beyond its borders.

What stories can you tell that haven't been done 554 times before? Even Discovery seemed flummoxed by this and had to resort to doing a big war (which had been done before) and its best-regarded episode is a time loop story (which has been done many times before).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I’d probably bring down the number of episodes per season so they don’t have to fill up 26 episodes. And I think Enterprise S3 has a good balance of arc and standalone. But actual plots ... I just don’t believe they’ve been exhausted, it’s too broad a setting. Much the same as Doctor Who, if you’ve got a tardis you could pretty much make whatever episode you want. It just needs a fresh, creative writing team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, DaveSumm said:

Well, I’d probably bring down the number of episodes per season so they don’t have to fill up 26 episodes. And I think Enterprise S3 has a good balance of arc and standalone. But actual plots ... I just don’t believe they’ve been exhausted, it’s too broad a setting. Much the same as Doctor Who, if you’ve got a tardis you could pretty much make whatever episode you want. It just needs a fresh, creative writing team.

Doctor Who allows you to go to any place in the entire universe, even parallel universes and any time. Despite recent similar gatekeeping attempts by "true fans", it's also a show that allows tremendous flexibility in its approach to canon and continuity, allowing the show to rewrite its history and change things drastically and still keep going. It has a much greater flexibility than Trek in its premise and it can (and does) reboot itself as effectively a completely new show every 3-5 years.

Trek has a more linear and rigid approach to canon, continuity and storytelling which limits the storytelling opportunities available. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Werthead said:

In each case it was, "Star Trek is this thing and can only be this thing ever," "This show does not conform to my personal definition of Star Trek so it doesn't count and everyone who thinks otherwise isn't a Real Fan." It's limiting, exclusionary and bullying.

It's fine to say, "I don't like this," and "this episode has problems" but saying "this isn't Star Trek and you're not a real Star Trek fan if you believe otherwise" is garbage.

This could be a decent argument in itself. The problem is that it rests on this:

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

It's also noteworthy that the idea of Star Trek as a utopian vision of the future is something that TNG very much introduced; it was not really present in the original series, which made it clear that 23rd Century humanity was better than its forebears, but not perfect or pure in the way that TNG wanted to be (and ultimately proved unsustainable). Discovery and Picard (and even Enterprise, to a much lesser extent) are more of a return to the spirit of TOS than abandoning Star Trek principles outright.

This is pushing it to say the least.
Star Trek is the utopian universe. That shouldn't even have to be said in a Trek thread, because it's part of pop culture 101 at this point.

To be fair, utopia was approached in many different ways in the different shows (which I don't even know equally well). The definition of "utopia" wasn't the same at the time of TOS as it was in the 1990s or 2000s for example. Then, many episodes were about what it means to live in a "utopia," and whether people can really live up to the high standards that a utopia entails... Some episodes thus questioned whether it was even possible to have high moral standards in given dire circumstances. Then, since not all writers were equally good, some episodes took the show(s) in debatable directions, which complicates things.

But it's always been about utopia. The core concept of Star Trek is that humanity can do better. It's not just about the show having progressive values, it's about the characters having those values.
And not just the characters, but most institutions around them too. That's what optimism is all about.
Of course, storytelling requires some kind of antagonism/antagonist, but in Trek such antagonism was either marginal within the Federation (Section 31) or coming from outside the Federation (Klingons, Romulans... etc).

Therefore it's more than odd to find ourselves in a universe in which the main character seems rather isolated in his humanist beliefs and in which another beloved character coldly executes an antagonist for revenge.
It's all very cool on screen, but it would be absurd to deny that it's a terrible pitch for a Trek show.
If anything the contrast with Discovery in which the characters' idealism was cranked to the max could hardly be starker. That Discovery's first seasons take place early in the chronology is even more troubling...
The story of humanity struggling with racism/xenphobia and all that? That was the story of Enterprise. It's the beginning of Trek. The entire point of the universe is that humanity as a whole eventually overcomes its darker instincts.

Quote

Things have taken a regressive turn in some respects, but that's realistic given both the context of the previous shows, pre-existing lore and historical precedent. The pendulum also swings the other way, which I suspect is the overall story arc of this series. 

Star Trek's optimism was never meant to be perfectly realistic.
There are tons of other shows that already do realistic on some level or the other, the interesting thing about Trek shows is that they approach the issues of the day with optimism rather than realism.
A "realistic" approach to the issues of refugees within a fictional universe is Carnival Row for instance. And it does "realism" much better than Picard does imho, in part because it has far fewer constraints to begin with.

The entire point was that in Trek the pendulum does not "swing the other way." Humanity can do better, full stop. That's the entire message.
If things take a "regressive turn" then the entire concept is put in jeopardy.

Now yeah, you can argue that people have been arguing about what the "core concept" of Trek is for as long as Trek shows have existed. You can argue that non-canon material already experimented with darker approaches. You can argue that even within the canon there were some darker themes explored (DS9 especially guess). ... etc.
But every single time you'll basically be arguing that Trek was never that utopian in the first place and/or that utopianism is not the core concept of Trek. That seems absurd to me.

Now, of course, Picard's first seaon isn't even over yet, so they might still turn this around. Picard might somehow achieve something so grand that he redeems the entire Federation somehow.
But that latest episode did not send that message. At all. Which is why people have legitimate questions about where this is going exactly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Romulans responded to victory in the Dominion War by attempting to steal Federation technology (in Voyager), destroy the Federation outright (in Nemesis, although #notallromulans) and attack the very forces that were trying to help them (in the 09 movie). Some conservative and regressive elements in the Federation - the same type who tried to strip-mine the Bak'u homeworld against their wishes, sold out dozens of colonies to the Cardassians, tried to launch a coup against the Federation President and sanctioned the murder of a Romulan senator - were very likely to say, in Kirk's own words, "Let them die."

Not sure what you mean by "forgetting replicators and transporters." The new show has made it clear that they have done neither.

The Federation is also still transitioning to being post-scarcity, being somewhere between The Expanse and The Culture. Previous shows established that replicators are great for small items like food and clothes, and components for larger items (like shuttles), but can't replicate entire starships (the bit rate error becomes unsustainable on large scales). Replicators also require you to pour energy into them; if you don't have a viable energy source, which might not be available on frontier worlds, you can't replicate things at will and have to ration things (as per Voyager).

 

The Voyager episode you are talking about, takes place before the Romulans joined the war and Shinzon in Nemisis was not a Romulan. If I'm remembering right, Shinzon was working with a bunch of space vampires and it was in fact the Romulans themselves who help Picard defeat him. The villain in the 09 movie was an extremist and a bit of a joke character all around. Trying to kill Spock, for the "crime" of trying to save his peoples.

Also I'm sorry, but no, Trek should never be treated like The Expanse. I personally like the Expanse series, but Trek was never like that universe and should never be treated like that universe. No matter how dark Trek got, there was always a sense of hope. A sense that humanity was able to get it's shit together and work with other races to achieve the impossible. This series takes a massive shit on that and treats The Federation like a bunch of racist assholes.

I mean even if I wasn't able to refute two of your three points, the facts remain, that the Federation had no issue making peace with the Klingons, the Cardassians and even the Dominion, but when it comes to the Romulans, they're suddenly a bunch of racist assholes? Something just doesn't add up here and I honestly think it can be blamed on the people writing the show.

Edited by sifth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Werthead said:

The Romulans responded to victory in the Dominion War by attempting to steal Federation technology (in Voyager), destroy the Federation outright (in Nemesis, although #notallromulans) and attack the very forces that were trying to help them (in the 09 movie). Some conservative and regressive elements in the Federation - the same type who tried to strip-mine the Bak'u homeworld against their wishes, sold out dozens of colonies to the Cardassians, tried to launch a coup against the Federation President and sanctioned the murder of a Romulan senator - were very likely to say, in Kirk's own words, "Let them die."

All instances of Romulan aggression you are showing are minor skirmishes involving an usurper, secret agents and a lone madman that were quickly dealt with and highly doubful to have made big news. In fact, painting the Romulans as big enemies of the Federation is quite laughable. The humans are the only ones who ever went to open war with them some 200 years ago before the Federation was even formed. To me it always seemed that the Romulans picked up early on that the formation of the Federation would change the balance of power in the quadrant forever and after they failed to prevent it, they folded and while remaining antagonistic and suspicious, pointedly avoided open conflict. If they had bothered to bring up that the member worlds threatening to "pull out" (and therefore risk getting gobbled up by aggressive neighbors) had more of a history of hostilities with the Romulans, I might have bought that reasoning. But since the show dislikes giving clear answers so much, there is only so much mental gymnastics I can accept in its defense.

2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Not sure what you mean by "forgetting replicators and transporters." The new show has made it clear that they have done neither. 

It's probably the high emphasize on pesky things like poverty and resource scarcity that ticks me off. At the end of the day time should be the only resource worth discussing in this whole miserable business.

And don't even attempt to argue that Picard's relocation issue was just a backup plan! There wasn't even a single mention of Spock in the entire show, so it's highly likely that the writers have forgotten about him.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

But doing what? That goes back to the point made earlier, that there is a limit in what you can do with a starship in space, doing stuff. Removing DS9's more space station-focused storylines (although they had quite a few runabout and Defiant-based "standard Star Trek" stories), that's 554 episodes set on a starship exploring space, both in the Federation and far beyond its borders.

I find it a little strange how you steered a conversation about the tone of the show to a conversation about the format. I for one couldn't care less about whether they go episodic or serialized, all I care about is that shares the optimism of Trek, isn't violently dismissive of its setting and doesn't make my brain hurt through absurd logic leaps. And from what I am seeing, the others stating their worries here are on a similar page.

And from that perspective Picard does indeed better than Discovery, but that's not a high bar to pass and the last episode still managed to kill all my interest and it is highly likely I will drop it for the sake of not ending up hatewatching it.

And while I wrote that Rippounet ninja'd me and phrased his concerns about betraying the thought of utopia far better than I ever could. XD

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

What stories can you tell that haven't been done 554 times before? Even Discovery seemed flummoxed by this and had to resort to doing a big war (which had been done before) and its best-regarded episode is a time loop story (which has been done many times before).

While I am at it: Aren't you kinda defeating your point there? If Discovery's best episode so far has been an episode done many times before, then... it looks quite a lot to me like that's what people actually want, huh?

Also Science-Fiction is a vast genre. I am currently thinking that they could easily push new boundaries by dealing with more 'alien' phenomena. Much of Star Trek so far dealt with social issues and other cultures, which is great, but it recently occured to me that with today's special effects budget and how visually stunning these shows look like, they could easily make quite a few episodes that highlight how mindboggingly vast and dangerous space is (I guess my last Elite trip and my reading of The Martian is speaking here XD).

Alternatively, if they want to incorporate modern day issues, then they should have the balls to dive right down to a focus on high stakes diplomacy. Something that I personally would have bought from ST Picard right away. But no, instead we are getting a 24 rip-off with a backdrop of "everything is horrible now and there is nothing to be done about". How is this any better to the alternatives?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Quote

 

Star Trek is the utopian universe. That shouldn't even have to be said in a Trek thread, because it's part of pop culture 101 at this point.

 

Star Trek is about numerous things: exploration, self-betterment and overcoming problems with teamwork and scientific rationality are among them. The striving to overcome problems to try to achieve a utopian society is a part of that, as is the cost of that utopia, which is something that every Star Trek series has used as a way of generating storylines. Homefront and Paradise Lost was very much about the absolutely massive cost of maintaining Earth's utopian state and how that doesn't happen magically but with a massive cost in resources and vigilance (and later on, via Section 31, a lot of behind-the-scenes dirty tricks).

Quote

 

And not just the characters, but most institutions around them too. That's what optimism is all about.

 

Given the absolutely titanic number of times of times that the Federation has done incredibly shady shit to cover its own back, I think this is a dubious conclusion.

The Federation may try to be an idealistic, utopian society but it isn't really. It sells people out and down the river all the time (as the Bak'u would agree). It makes dodgy realpolitik deals all the time, as the Maquis can attest. Quark's best moments in DS9 come in several episodes when he gets to tell Sisko that the Federation is full of shit and doesn't live up to its ideals (particularly in The Jem'Hadar and In the Pale Moonlight, and his discussion with Garak in The Way of the Warrior where they agree that the Federation is not what it says it is, but they are dependent on it anyway). Picard is not really doing anything new there, at all.

Quote

Therefore it's more than odd to find ourselves in a universe in which the main character seems rather isolated in his humanist beliefs and in which another beloved character coldly executes an antagonist for revenge.

Was it "odd" when Data tried to phaser a guy to death in cold blood and was only stopped because the transporter interrupted the phaser mid-discharge? Or when Sisko poisoned the atmosphere of an entire inhabitable planet with untold unique animal life in order to arrest one relatively minor criminal (given what else was going on at that moment)?

 

Quote

 

The Voyager episode you are talking about, takes place before the Romulans joined the war and Shinzon in Nemisis was not a Romulan. If I'm remembering right, Shinzon was working with a bunch of space vampires and it was in fact the Romulans themselves who help Picard defeat him. The villain in the 09 movie was an extremist and a bit of a joke character all around. Trying to kill Spock, for the "crime" of trying to save his peoples.

 

Shinzon is a Romulan-created clone of Picard. He uses the Remans as his shock troops, but he has support from a large part of the Romulan Empire, as if he didn't they would have killed him and the Remans with rather contemptuous ease, as there's a hell of lot more Romulans than Remans. Given that the Enterprise-E inflicted damage on the Scimitar by itself, a half-dozen warbirds could have taken it down by themselves if they'd wanted. The Romulans who helped Picard were a rival faction loyal to old Senate.

The villain in the 09 movie had crappy motivations, but nonetheless was a Romulan attacking the Federation when the Federation was in the middle of trying to save it. That would have certainly come up in the following discussions.

Message in a Bottle takes place before In the Pale Moonlight but after By Inferno's Light and way after The Die is Cast and The Search Part II, when the Federation and Romulans had agreed to share resources and intelligence against the Dominion. The Romulans attacking the Federation when both were threatened by the Dominion (even if the Romulans had not yet formally joined the war) was a massive dick move when a lot of people in the Federation will remember.

Quote

 

 I mean even if I wasn't able to refute two of your three points, the facts remain, that the Federation had no issue making peace with the Klingons, the Cardassians and even the Dominion, but when it comes to the Romulans, they're suddenly a bunch of racist assholes? Something just doesn't add up here and I honestly think it can be blamed on the people writing the show.

 

The Federation had massive issues making peace with the Klingons. A contingent of Starfleet joined forces with Klingon extremists to sabotage the peace deal to try to keep the cold war going, and because they'd have preferred it if the Klingon homeworld had become uninhabitable. The peace deal with the Klingons almost collapsed in the 2340s and would have led to another huge war (which the Federation would have lost) if the Enterprise-C hadn't sacrificed itself to save a Klingon colony. When the Klingon-Federation alliance briefly collapsed, there wasn't much hesitation in either side into jumping into a shooting war.

People also had massive problems with making peace with the Cardassians, including trying to restart the war and drawing the entire Federation in with it. Making peace with the Dominion was far easier because the Dominion is on the other side of the galaxy; it's easier to make nice with people you literally never have to see again than your next door neighbours (and its hard for the victors to continue to bear a grudge against the Cardassians after the Dominion effectively destroyed their homeworld).

I'm also not sure about this idea that the Federation is being "racist" against the Romulans. The Federation and the Romulans have had massive past issues based on their political disagreements, but on a personal level there doesn't seem to be too many problems. There are even Romulan refugees living on Earth whilst a half-human/half-Romulan rose to high rank in the Romulan military (which does raise the question of if Sela survived the supernova).

I am amused by the idea that there is any inconsistency in the idea that the same organisation which manipulated the Romulans into joining a bloody war at the cost of thousands of Romulan lives (starting with the senator whose murder they countenanced to do it) would later on be reluctant to try to help the same race's evacuation efforts when they had already done so once already and it was no longer practically possible to do it again.

Quote

 

In fact, painting the Romulans as big enemies of the Federation is quite laughable.

 

This is a central tenet of the franchise across most of its existence. The Romulan Star Empire appears to rival the Federation in resources and military capability (and depending on what maps you believe, size). This isn't like the Cardassians, who are clearly a much smaller power who can cause the Federation problems on a local scale but not an existential one. The Klingons and the Romulans are the only Alpha/Beta quadrant powers shown to be rivals of the Federation and whom the Federation will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid open military conflict with. Throughout TOS and TNG it's made clear that a war between the Federation and the Romulans would likely go down to the wire.

There is a long-standing worldbuilding problem here, that the Federation's size and power is based on it being the combined power of 150 core member races and worlds (plus untold thousands more colonies, outposts and bases), whilst the Klingons and Romulans are only one race each. The Klingons live much longer than humans, breed freely and grow to maturity much faster than humans, so there's an absolute ton of them, so I can believe that the Klingons are contenders, but the Romulans are more problematic, especially because it's never been made clear if they undergo the same pon farr breeding limitation as the Vulcans (the assumption is they do not, and the pon farr and the Vulcans' telepathic powers have emerged from their suppression of emotion and dedication to logic, which the Romulans have not similarly implemented). Nemesis did at least confirm that the Romulans did have slave races they rule over with an iron fist, which may help explain the discrepancy.

Still, suggesting that the Romulans are not a serious rival to the Federation is silly. The Federation almost lost the Dominion War in mid-2374 when Betazed fell and the Dominion fleets mustered to attack Vulcan and Andoria, and it was only the Romulans entering the war and mounting a massive flank attack that single-handedly collapsed the offensive and put the Dominion on the back foot for the rest of the war (aside, briefly, from when the Breen joined the conflict).

Quote

 

It's probably the high emphasize on pesky things like poverty and resource scarcity that ticks me off. At the end of the day time should be the only resource worth discussing in this whole miserable business.

 

I'm still not sure where you're getting this poverty thing from. So far we have one character living from their own choice in what is probably one of the most expensive spots in California (if property prices were still a thing) who can travel off-world at will thanks to her network of friends and contacts, which is not indicative of any level of poverty at all.

The Federation also still has some resource scarcity: it cannot replicate dilithium, latinum, antimatter, various other complex-chain molecules and other resources. That's why it's the Federation and not the Culture.

Quote

 

And don't even attempt to argue that Picard's relocation issue was just a backup plan! There wasn't even a single mention of Spock in the entire show, so it's highly likely that the writers have forgotten about him.

 

They should have mentioned Spock, but since Kurtzman co-wrote the 09 movie and several of its spin-off media expounding on Spock's red matter plan, I think we can assume they haven't forgotten him. They just haven't mentioned him because there's 3,000 other things going on.

Personally I want to know how and why Romulus's star went supernova in the first place, since as an apparent G2 yellow dwarf star it shouldn't be scientifically possible for it to go supernova, ever, and if it did, there would have been centuries or, at the least, decades of warning. It would have to have been destroyed deliberately, accidentally perhaps through some kind of energy-mining mishap (which given the arrogance of the Romulans sound quite plausible) or through some freak, one-in-a-trillion anomaly.

Quote

Alternatively, if they want to incorporate modern day issues, then they should have the balls to dive right down to a focus on high stakes diplomacy. 

One idea mentioned a few times was Star Trek: Federation, which looks at the workings of the Federation on a higher level (like a Star Trek version of The West Wing) and on a macro scale. That could be quite interesting.

I'm also annoyed that Fuller's original anthology show idea was shelved, as that would have been a better fit for Star Trek and would have allowed exploration of the entire Star Trek universe in an interesting way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tonally, as I think about it, maybe the show needed to be set in the time of the actual attempt to do the evacuation.   Show more of the aftermath of the Dominon War and how that exhaustion leads to the creep of conspiracy and harder Federation times.  Have Picard fighting together his fleet, only to then have the Mars attack...

 

Crazy show prediction also: despite Discovery already doing it, Picard season 1 ends with either the Entetprise E, or F, showing up to arrest Picard and team under Captain, I want it to be Worf, but it'll be some established character...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Shinzon is a Romulan-created clone of Picard. He uses the Remans as his shock troops, but he has support from a large part of the Romulan Empire, as if he didn't they would have killed him and the Remans with rather contemptuous ease, as there's a hell of lot more Romulans than Remans. Given that the Enterprise-E inflicted damage on the Scimitar by itself, a half-dozen warbirds could have taken it down by themselves if they'd wanted. The Romulans who helped Picard were a rival faction loyal to old Senate.

 

The point still stands, you had the Romulans helping the federation defeating an evil clone at the end of that movie.

Message in a Bottle takes place during that period of time where The Romulans and the Dominion formed a truce. So during that period of time, they weren't exactly allies to the Federation and were more interested in either joining the Dominion or waiting to see who won the war. 

I got nothing the 09 villain, that guy was easily one of the crappiest characters Abrams ever created, IMO. He honestly felt like a guy, who was evil for the sake of being evil.

Also I agree that some members of the Federation are evil jerks who tried to ruin peace with the Klingons and Cardassians, but these guys are very much the exception and not the rule. The characters in question were always treated as villains and usually either killed or arrested at the end of the episode/movie they were in. 

The Federation didn't plan on blowing up that Romulan senator, that was Garak's handy work. Sisko is guilty for covering up the information, but again, this is only one guy and even Sisko is only doing this because he believes it's for the greater good and the only way to the defeat the Dominion, not because he's some evil monster. 

Didn't the first or second episode of Picard have an admiral mention that 8 planets threatened to leave the Federation if they helped the Romulans? I mean if that's not racism, I don't know what is.

As for the star going supernova, we can just add that up to Abrams and Alex Kurtzman not understanding science and how space works. I mean you can see this all over the place in the Star Wars movies Abrams directs and to a lesser extent with Discovery.

Edited by sifth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Given the absolutely titanic number of times of times that the Federation has done incredibly shady shit to cover its own back, I think this is a dubious conclusion.

I think the reason why these takes on what the Federation should be like are so different is that there seems to be a misunderstanding that the Federation (as the civilian government), Starfleet (as quasi military arm), individual members of these institutions and the civilian population living within the Federation as a whole are all different actors. Like it was pointed out several times to you, the institution of the Federation and the ideals that guides all of its legislation have always been utopian even when DS9 was as its most cynical and you can't just go and claim that individual villains-of-the-week somehow stand for the Federation as a whole when it was usually clear that those were extremists not supported by the majority.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Homefront and Paradise Lost was very much about the absolutely massive cost of maintaining Earth's utopian state and how that doesn't happen magically but with a massive cost in resources and vigilance (and later on, via Section 31, a lot of behind-the-scenes dirty tricks). 

Homefront has an extremist admiral trying to take over the Federation and is thwarted and the thing about Section 31 is that all we know about how important they are for the protection of the Federation is what they smugly claim themselves. In fact for all we know they might just be a bunch of delusional assholes playing James Bond, given how the standard procedure of Starfleet Security when they activities surface is to root them out immediately as to not endanger the Federation's diplomatic contacts through their actions.

That modern hack writers have a raging boner for Section 31 is a different thing entirely...

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Was it "odd" when Data tried to phaser a guy to death in cold blood and was only stopped because the transporter interrupted the phaser mid-discharge? Or when Sisko poisoned the atmosphere of an entire inhabitable planet with untold unique animal life in order to arrest one relatively minor criminal (given what else was going on at that moment)?

Well, at least Data didn't beam down 20 seconds afterwards to finish shooting him, eh?

And Sisko poisoning the planet actually made me seething with rage when I saw that. Well, that and his disgustingly self-indulgent conversation with Dax afterwards where she did nothing but heap praise on his twisted view that you have to be the villain to get shit down. Afterwards I grew to severely dislike most of DS9 for the exact reason of how it overstepped a lot of lines, so I guess at least my position on that is consistent. Sisko deserves to be in prison.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Shinzon is a Romulan-created clone of Picard. He uses the Remans as his shock troops, but he has support from a large part of the Romulan Empire, as if he didn't they would have killed him and the Remans with rather contemptuous ease, as there's a hell of lot more Romulans than Remans.

He was an usurper. He only acted within a very small space of time in which all the major players had been murdered and the rest of the imperial navy was biding their time to see where this goes. Since his grand attack of the Federation consisted of only one ship and there was no mention whatsoever of a big invasion being planned, I think it is just as fair to assume that he didn't enjoy enough support in the military to plan anything on a broader scale. In fact, the way how Picard and Donatra ended up joking about what to do after dealing with Shinzon made it look like the government after Shinzon would be very much open to a more open relationship with the Federation, given that Donatra would likely be heavily involved in it.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

The Romulans attacking the Federation when both were threatened by the Dominion (even if the Romulans had not yet formally joined the war) was a massive dick move when a lot of people in the Federation will remember.

So... a secret prototype ship was stolen by secret agents and successfully intercepted a few hours later. I assume that would make a rather embarrassing news headline, but I doubt it would spark such open hatred as it keeps getting shown in Picard whenever Romulans are mentioned.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

The Federation had massive issues making peace with the Klingons.

And the Federation had been at war with the Klingons for much of a century with frustrating regularity. Of course there would be a lot of people resenting that move. But once again: The Federation was never at war with the Romulans. Yes, there were some isolated incidents and I can see that the Romulans attempts to meddle in Federation affairs through their spy network might be a point of annoyance, but nothing that would spark major resentment for the general population as a whole. In fact, the way the peace with Klingons turned out amazingly well should be all the more reason to do everything in your power to make the Romulan Empire indebted to you.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

I'm also not sure about this idea that the Federation is being "racist" against the Romulans. The Federation and the Romulans have had massive past issues based on their political disagreements, but on a personal level there doesn't seem to be too many problems. There are even Romulan refugees living on Earth whilst a half-human/half-Romulan rose to high rank in the Romulan military (which does raise the question of if Sela survived the supernova). 

But now there IS. Haven't you listened to the angry black lady? Or the Starfleet lady? This goes beyond concerns about spy meddling, they are downright spiteful of Romulans breathing.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

There is a long-standing worldbuilding problem here, that the Federation's size and power is based on it being the combined power of 150 core member races and worlds (plus untold thousands more colonies, outposts and bases), whilst the Klingons and Romulans are only one race each.

That is something I can agree with. Basically the only thing holding back the Federation is how it doesn't like to build pure warships and loosing people to unnecessary bloodshed, so all its vessels get a bit of a handicap and its diplomacy focuses on deescalation only. In terms of resources, manpower and technology the Romulans and Klingons should be dwarves compared to it and in fact if we go at it logically, the Dominion should be the only other power comparable to it in terms of these points (when it comes to powers that you can engage with on the political landscape of course, disregarding godlike beings, overpowered one-episode races and the Borg).

Yes, it's a problem that causes us to question how legit concerns of war with the other major Alpha/Beta-quadrant powers really are, but one that actually plays up even more how the Federation enters all of these relationships from a position of overwhelming strength, making it even more unlikely that the Average Joe resents the Romulans so much for being distrustful of this.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

I am amused by the idea that there is any inconsistency in the idea that the same organisation which manipulated the Romulans into joining a bloody war at the cost of thousands of Romulan lives (starting with the senator whose murder they countenanced to do it) would later on be reluctant to try to help the same race's evacuation efforts when they had already done so once already and it was no longer practically possible to do it again. 

Once again, Sisko is not the Federation. He is just a rogue actor who belongs in prison. The Federation just unknowingly profited from his machinations. In fact, the Romulan Star Empire joined the war so eagerly after this incident that I suspect that they were long aware that their non-aggression pact with the Dominion was a joke and they just waited for a reasonable excuse to join the war after the Federation got bloodied enough. But yeah, that's just my headcanon, so it doesn't really count.

And what the fuck are you trying to imply? That having someone join a bloody war on your side is somehow the same as not saving their population from a natural disaster? What?

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

I'm still not sure where you're getting this poverty thing from. So far we have one character living from their own choice in what is probably one of the most expensive spots in California (if property prices were still a thing) who can travel off-world at will thanks to her network of friends and contacts, which is not indicative of any level of poverty at all.

Her words, not mine. The show framed it as if she was in poverty and it's Picard's fault. Somehow.

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

The Federation also still has some resource scarcity: it cannot replicate dilithium, latinum, antimatter, various other complex-chain molecules and other resources. That's why it's the Federation and not the Culture.

Well, Dilithium can do its catalyst job basically forever after they developed this re-crystalization stuff. Both Dilithium and Latinum can be harvested with teleporters (disregarding Voyager's bullshit hologram slaves as absolute nonsense), so the only issue is going out there and find these resources, you don't need much of an infrastructure to process it. Antimatter is an issue? Last I checked the problem is Deuterium for their fusion engines and that's basically everywhere. That's why all ships have nacelles to scoop it up. So yes, there are some minor inconveniences to get some things, but come on, it's not resources the Federation Average Joe has to ever worry about.

I am not very familiar about The Culture, but from what I have heard from popculture osmosis they are on a truly ludicrous technology level. There is reaching effective post-scarcity and there is dropping a Type III civilization as a comparison. And the Federation is well on their way to be a Type II civilization anyway (especially in STO where they dabble in reverse-engineering Dyson spheres).

Sorry if it looks like I'm deliberately confrontive, but I think we don't really need to even discuss the idea that the Federation is not utopian and not post-scarcity, while the idea of just which elements of the Federation have reservations about Romulans may be debatable, but not to the degree of hostility shown in the show.

Edited by Toth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×