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Derfel Cadarn

Star Trek: The Wrath of Fans

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Couldnt resist.

To carry on from previous, I also saw Wrath of Khan when I was 4, just before I turned 5. It was a video  on an oil tanker my dad was an officer on. Around the same time, while staying in US motels, I saw a couple of episodes (Mirror Mirror, and the one with Kirk’s brother).

Both freaked me out at the time, Mirror Mirror especially confusing me.

I like Discovery, a half doZen eps into season 2 though it feels a little draggy. After Discovery, I’ll rewatch TOS.

Started Picard just now...

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Posted (edited)

Love the title.

Quote

I mean the most hopeful thing I got out of the Picard show was seeing all of the people who were once Borg being returned to a normal state. Shame nearly all of those people were violently murdered an episode or two after the fact. I mean it was like the show gave me a taste of hope and a better way only to take it away, because New Trek seems to need at least one person getting killed each week to be cool.

That's a pretty good point. That casual murder of all the former borg (plus Hugues) was heartbreaking.
Which in itself isn't a problem... The problem is that it did not bring anything substantial to the main story besides underlining how evil the villain was. In other words, it was a cheap unoriginal way to darken the story for no good reason.

Anyway, I don't want to keep beating that dead horse. Many of the problems I have with Picard wouldn't necessarily be too bad on their own, but the cumulative effect is terrible. You add the bad writing, the plotholes, the gratuitous violence... etc, etc, and you get something that's objectively rather bad.
On top of all that I really think Picard tried something a bit different for a Trek show, so for that reason I'm tempted to be more demanding. I mean, if you take an old franchise and add a new spin to it, you'd better do it right. Otherwise many fans will feel you've just taken a dump on it.
I think if they'd been a bit less ambitious and/or more coherent I'd probably be more indulgent.

Edited by Rippounet

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11 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Love the title.

That's a pretty good point. That casual murder of all the former borg (plus Hugues) was heartbreaking.
Which in itself isn't a problem... The problem is that it did not bring anything substantial to the main story besides underlining how evil the villain was. In other words, it was a cheap unoriginal way to darken the story for no good reason.

Anyway, I don't want to keep beating that dead horse. Many of the problems I have with Picard wouldn't necessarily be too bad on their own, but the cumulative effect is terrible. You add the bad writing, the plotholes, the gratuitous violence... etc, etc, and you get something that's objectively rather bad.
On top of all that I really think Picard tried something a bit different for a Trek show, so for that reason I'm tempted to be more demanding. I mean, if you take an old franchise and add a new spin to it, you'd better do it right. Otherwise many fans will feel you've just taken a dump on it.
I think if they'd been a bit less ambitious and/or more coherent I'd probably be more indulgent.

I'm still amazed DS9 was able to do it. Sure it was dark in some areas, but the main characters were so likeable and usually always willing to do the right thing, that I always rotted for them to win. I can't think of anyone I like from new Trek.................maybe Pike, since he honestly seems like a good person, but I can't think of anyone else, who just doesn't seem very cold. Maybe it's the fact that they're constantly drinking and swearing, I don't know. I still think it's sad that I can't watch New Trek with my family though, since the 90's series were a huge part of my own childhood.

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I'm hoping Strange New Worlds is indeed a lot less serialized. Continuity from episode-to-episode, perhaps with some season long arcs. 

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On 5/23/2020 at 12:28 PM, sifth said:

I'm still amazed DS9 was able to do it. Sure it was dark in some areas, but the main characters were so likeable and usually always willing to do the right thing, that I always rotted for them to win. I can't think of anyone I like from new Trek.................maybe Pike, since he honestly seems like a good person, but I can't think of anyone else, who just doesn't seem very cold. Maybe it's the fact that they're constantly drinking and swearing, I don't know. I still think it's sad that I can't watch New Trek with my family though, since the 90's series were a huge part of my own childhood.

I think Pike would simply because he's a "right thing to do" character. I also think most of the discovery crew would do the right thing but usually for the wrong reason eg it being turned around to being all about them and how amazing they are for having done it. 

Wrath of khan instilled a lasting fear that insects (particularly earwigs) could crawl into my ears and eat/control my brain. So I'd still say that film was the most disturbing trek has been for me. Although there is the head exploding alien parasite episode of next gen season 1. I guess Picard/discovery has to have aliens inserting themselves into character brains to "disgust" me. Fungi don't cut it.

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I think I'm starting to see why I have such different interpretations of some of these characters to others, we read drastically different personality traits into some of these things.

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8 hours ago, karaddin said:

I think I'm starting to see why I have such different interpretations of some of these characters to others, we read drastically different personality traits into some of these things.

You also fill in blanks with your own imagined supplements, regardless of what is supported by the material. 

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I might have just blocked it from my mind, but was Alison Pill's character ever exposed for murdering a person in his sick bed? Also if so why again was everyone alright with working with her in the final? Did  the Vulcan/Romluan lady named O brainwash her to do it or am I just filling in blanks that were never explained in the show?

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32 minutes ago, sifth said:

I might have just blocked it from my mind, but was Alison Pill's character ever exposed for murdering a person in his sick bed? Also if so why again was everyone alright with working with her in the final? Did  the Vulcan/Romluan lady named O brainwash her to do it or am I just filling in blanks that were never explained in the show?

No and apparently it was not brainwashing, she just showed her slides of how what Maddox was doing was bad.

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17 minutes ago, Toth said:

No and apparently it was not brainwashing, she just showed her slides of how what Maddox was doing was bad.

So she basically just gets away with first degree murder and we're suppose to not hate her?

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26 minutes ago, sifth said:

So she basically just gets away with first degree murder and we're suppose to not hate her?

It were very impressive slides!

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1 hour ago, sifth said:

I might have just blocked it from my mind, but was Alison Pill's character ever exposed for murdering a person in his sick bed? Also if so why again was everyone alright with working with her in the final? Did  the Vulcan/Romluan lady named O brainwash her to do it or am I just filling in blanks that were never explained in the show?

Yes; she blew her cover by risking death to destroy the tracker Oh gave her, which earned her some credit, and she was personally ordered to do it by the head of Starfleet Security, reinforced by a psychic vision that while perhaps not actual brainwashing is powerful enough to drive many people who experience it to immediately kill themselves.

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6 minutes ago, felice said:

Yes; she blew her cover by risking death to destroy the tracker Oh gave her, which earned her some credit, and she was personally ordered to do it by the head of Starfleet Security, reinforced by a psychic vision that while perhaps not actual brainwashing is powerful enough to drive many people who experience it to immediately kill themselves.

Wait was she ordered by O to do it? I honestly don’t remember this, just everyone being alright with working with someone who committed first degree murder in  the final. The writing for this show hurts my head at times.

Edited by sifth

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I'd find it a lot easier to engage with the, in this case very valid, criticism of the show and it's writing without the histrionics about how awful it all is.

This was absolutely a flaw in the writing and there should have been much longer consequences for it. If they wanted to end with her being trusted and accepted then the others should have at least have addressed it and acknowledged that it was under extreme duress and thus they'll accept she's already suffering enough for it, but it shouldn't have have just been ignored.

I also agree that I did not like the way all the Borg still in stasis pods, many of the exbees, and especially Hugh were killed off. I did think that was gratuitous.

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This was absolutely a flaw in the writing and there should have been much longer consequences for it. If they wanted to end with her being trusted and accepted then the others should have at least have addressed it and acknowledged that it was under extreme duress and thus they'll accept she's already suffering enough for it, but it shouldn't have have just been ignored.

To be fair, Star Trek has form on this. Sisko poisoned an entire planet and rendered it uninhabitable, presumably killing vast amounts of animal life, and it was never really brought up as a problem. Worf killed a whole bunch of people he shouldn't have on multiple occasions and was let off with, "Klingons huh, what can you do?" Data tried to murder one guy in cold blood (and would have done, as the phaser was discharging when he was beamed out) and Picard's reaction was "WTF? Oh well, back to duty."

I wouldn't be surprised if her latent guilt over the situation was a plot factor in Season 2 (I also wouldn't be surprised if they promptly dropped it and never talked about it again).

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Anyway I have a question since someone mentioned Praxis in the last couple pages. I thought Undiscovered Country ended with peace with the Klingons. But then I thought about Yesterday's Enterprise where it's stated that the Enterprise-C's sacrifice was a big factor in the peace. I assume there were like, decades between these events (long enough for the B to have it's run) so I guess the peace achieved in Undiscovered Country didn't last? 

The destruction of Praxis rained debris and damage down on the Klingon homeworld. The peace treaty was in return for Federation help in repairing the damage to Qo'noS. That took several decades to achieve. Once that was done, relations between the Federation and Klingons were okay, but began to deteriorate again. In the TV canon it was never explained why (rumour is that they considered setting Discovery in this time period during an early stage of development but they changed it to pre-TOS). The books and various fanwank has suggested that the Romulans were pressuring the Klingons from the far side of their space (which keeps the idea intact that the Federation and Romulans had no official contact for 50 years before TNG Season 1) and the Federation didn't want to risk war so refused to help, which pissed the Klingons off.

It's unofficial, but it does explain why the Enterprise-C sacrificing itself at Narendra III resonated so strongly: the Federation did help, and the same sources generally have the Romulans fearing the Federation was going to side with the Klingons in a full-scale war and backed off fast, averting war and restoring the Klingon-Federation alliance.

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I mean is there even one episode of Picard that doesn't have someone getting killed? I honestly want to know, because I can't think of any off the top of my head.

It's a rare episode of Star Trek that doesn't have someone dying or the threat of death being a major factor. Move Along HomeTake Me Out to the HolosuiteLittle Green MenIn the Cards and The Visitor come to mind as episodes of DS9 where no-one dies, and Family for TNG (but that kind of makes up for the 11,000 Starfleet personnel slaughtered in the previous episode). I think Justice also didn't have any deaths, just a colossal amount of stupidity. Probably a few more I'm blanking on now.

That reminded me of an odd thing from my recent rewatch, that Voyager had far more violence than any Trek show before it bar the last two seasons of DS9 (almost every new alien race they met in the Delta Quadrant fired first and asked questions later) but it also had an extraordinary low death count. Including the crewmembers killed in the first episode (the source of the overwhelming majority of the casualties), they lost something like 35 crew over the entire course of the show which is extremely low considering how frequently they got into firefights with people, how often the ship was boarded etc. The Enterprise-D had significantly more than that despite combat being much less frequent.

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I'm hoping Strange New Worlds is indeed a lot less serialized. Continuity from episode-to-episode, perhaps with some season long arcs. 

That's the plan. They'll be acknowledging character development and if a big life-changing event happens in one episode, it won't be forgotten in the next, but they want to do story arcs that range from 1 episode to maybe 4, with less of a season-long over-arc. Sounds a bit like the approach of Enterprise Season 4, which sort of worked (although a few of the short arcs in that season could have been done in 1 episode).

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I also agree that I did not like the way all the Borg still in stasis pods, many of the exbees, and especially Hugh were killed off. I did think that was gratuitous.

It's an interesting one because Trek has had this massive moral problem with the Borg going back to Best of Both Worlds Part II, when we learn that Borg can be "rescued" from the Collective, and reinforced in I, Borg. These drones are individual beings and can be restored to full humanity/whatever (there's even a full, four-season arc in Voyager about this). Yet the reaction to the Borg has also been pretty much genocidal since then, without much thought given to sparing/freeing them, just blowing them away. One good thing about Picard was that it did say, "okay, these people can be restored and let's do that en masse," and explored the ramifications of that. And then murdered all of them out of plot expediency, which felt a bit pointless.

More interesting would have been for all the drones to have survived, Seven to have ended up as the Queen of that one Borg ship and having to look after them, and that could lead to more plot developments in later seasons. I must admit having the Borg cube entering the fight on the good guys' side was pretty cool for once, it's a shame they had to immediately neutralise it (and I don't buy for a second those bloody space flowers could bring down a Borg cube, even a crippled one).

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I think the ideas about the XBs illustrate an issue with the show or, arguably, the format. Ten episodes is a decent amount of time for a slow-burn Breaking Bad-style plot with relatively limited plot threads and a focus on a few different characters and settings. Comparing to other things I've watched recently like The Stranger on Netflix or The Outsider on HBO, Picard (and definitely Discovery) tries to cover a far more complex (or convoluted) story in a short amount of time, almost as if they're going for usual Trek-style world-building and plots but without enough to flesh everything out. The pacing worked well enough initially, got muddied in the middle, picked up in the last third, but then left a two-part finale that only kinda worked. Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed it a lot. But stuff like Agnes's murder of Maddox (regardless of whether she was "just following orders") to Picard's new "golem" body to the Borg subplot and Hugh's untimely death all felt underwritten and under-motivated. 

On the other hand, Patrick Stewart was great throughout. I really enjoyed Seven's presence - this is a much more interesting evolution of her character than where we left it in "Endgame". And seeing Hugh again was so amazing - I get why it might have served some dramatic sense to kill him off, but he would have been much better as a recurring character. "Nepenthe" was a standout, especially since it transcended any mere fan service suggested by the presence of Riker and Troi. 

The main problem here is that current Trek shows don't seem to be written with consideration to limited episode seasons. Discovery tried to do a whole war story with the Klingons in a single short season, all told in about a quarter of the episodes comprising the period of DS9's Dominion War, and without the five seasons of character and plot development that preceded it. That's a problem for sure. I'm not sure you can do big elaborate story arcs with a galactic scope in 10-13 episodes. The results suggests you can't. Season two of Disco works a bit better, particularly in the first half, but later on they turn up the sci-fi Action! to max and it gets a bit boring (and fairly reminiscent of everything with the Replicators in Stargate:SG1). It's not that I want Breaking Bad pacing (okay, maybe I kinda do...), but it's fairly obvious that the writing staff haven't yet figured out how to write Trek well for limited seasons. I suppose it's still early on, but in this time of dozens of well written shorter/limited shows, the comparisons are unfavourable. 

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Still working through my rewatch of S1 TOS.  So far, I think the only ones I'd seen before for sure are Man Trap, Corbonite Maneuver, and Menagerie (I and II).  So a little below 50%.  But definitely seen Zuk or whatever his name was from the episode with the smoking hot side boob android. (not the episode itself, but a still shot of him)

Not sure if it can be confirmed, but are "Number One" and "Engage" in TNG callbacks to the original pilot?

 

Edited by mcbigski

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On 5/25/2020 at 6:57 PM, Werthead said:

 

It's an interesting one because Trek has had this massive moral problem with the Borg going back to Best of Both Worlds Part II, when we learn that Borg can be "rescued" from the Collective, and reinforced in I, Borg. These drones are individual beings and can be restored to full humanity/whatever (there's even a full, four-season arc in Voyager about this). Yet the reaction to the Borg has also been pretty much genocidal since then, without much thought given to sparing/freeing them, just blowing them away. One good thing about Picard was that it did say, "okay, these people can be restored and let's do that en masse," and explored the ramifications of that. And then murdered all of them out of plot expediency, which felt a bit pointless.

More interesting would have been for all the drones to have survived, Seven to have ended up as the Queen of that one Borg ship and having to look after them, and that could lead to more plot developments in later seasons. I must admit having the Borg cube entering the fight on the good guys' side was pretty cool for once, it's a shame they had to immediately neutralise it (and I don't buy for a second those bloody space flowers could bring down a Borg cube, even a crippled one).

With regard to the Borg and the whole reclamation vs. destroying any and all...rewatching the TNG Borg episodes...assimilation, Picard not withstanding, wasn't a thing. Getting taken by a drone, that was more of an upping of the stakes in Forst Contact and it went from there...at least I'm thinking of it correctly.  That has to play into the general handling of the Borg.  The movie retconned them somewhat...

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@Aemon Stark I think all of those criticisms are fair and I'd agree with them. I think you're probably spot on with them trying to cram too much into the episode counts that they have, which often seems to lead to feeling like not enough happens even when you're trying to fit too much in. Definitely plenty of room for improvement. I guess they'd need confidence that they're going to get subsequent seasons to tackle an arc that truly goes past the end of the current season.

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I think Star Trek benefited more from long seasons because it encouraged experimentation and allowed them to throw something at the wall to see what sticks. If the price of, say, 40 mediocre to terrible episodes over a series (far, far more with Voyager, far less with DS9), is five or six all-time classics, that might be worthwhile, whilst in a 12-15 episode season you're much less likely (well, half) to hit it out of the park with one of them. That said, 26 episodes a season was far too many, and hurt the various shows (shows with 22-episode seasons back in the day seemed to find a greater degree of consistency, like BuffyAngel and Babylon 5).

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