Feb 20, 2018

DISCO Season 1 Awards


Edited: Feb 20, 2018

It was so, so fun to hand out awards (Glennies and Valeries) for our favorite parts of DISCO Season 1 on our season-long wrap-up episode, but there was something missing...you!


I, for one, want to know what you thought of our answers, and who or what you think should receive a Lower Decks Forumsies (the name might need some work...).


So, without further ado, the categories are:


  1. Best Ship

  2. Best CO

  3. Best Hair

  4. Best Monologue

  5. Best Adversary

  6. Best Spin Off

  7. Best Plot Hole

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Feb 25, 2018Edited: Feb 25, 2018

Okay here's my entry for the Forumsies (which is a perfect name!):



- While I do love the Discovery, with its segmented saucer section allowing for peeping toms to stare into quarters across sections, there is one other ship which slightly edges it out for my Forumsie nod: the ISS Charon! Crazy on the outside / art deco on the inside (my very favorite aesthetic!), the Charon sounds like it is named after Karen Carpenter yet it is anything but rainy days or Mondays. Look what Memory-Alpha wiki says of it: "Described as 'city-sized' and divided in no less than seventeen decks, a Charon-class vessel contained vast hangars, an entire prison complex full of agony booths, and barracks and facilities for ten battalions of the Imperial Guard. Other onboard facilities include luxurious staterooms for Imperial dignitaries and multiple laboratories. These laboratories supported the massive Mycelial power core which glowed a bright orange in the center of the ship.

Due to its power core, this ship contained powerful missiles which were able to breach a planet's crust, and cause massive damage to wide areas." I mean... yes please!



- Crap, I have to go with Lorca. Was he an evil spy? Mayb-- okay yeah he was. BUT he also defended the Federation from the Klingons, he also helped redeem Burnham (if he'd never commandeered her prison shuttle - and oh man, did he kill its pilot? - then Burnham would still be in some penal colony somewhere), and at the end of the day - he was just so much fun to watch.



- Tilly, easy. In both universes!



- While I loved both Saru's and Burnham's Starfleet hoo-rah! speeches, they kind of steal votes from each other AND they each have their flaws: Saru's is undercut by his outstanding assault charge from Pahvo, I am infuriated that this brutal Kelpien got off scot-free!; and Burnham's was a bit by the numbers. So, I choose the speech which moved me the most: Ash-Voq's season finale goodbye to Burnham. It made me cry. It made me want to tie him up in that sailor's knot and (get your mind out of the gutter) never let him go.



- Wow. I am only now realizing how excellent this series is with creating compelling bad guys.





Emperor Georgiou.


CBS All Access.

I guess... I'll have to go with Lorca. Truthfully, he was this season's big bad - and he was so great at being bad even before we knew just how bad he was. BUT I have so much fun with Rainn Wilson's Harry Mudd, and L'Rell is so awesome and multifaceted, and Ash-Voq is so interesting and tragic, and Emperor Georgiou is so badass!!!!! Gah, I loved them all.



- I'm sticking with Starfleet IP Attorney. I'm such a continuity wonk, and good God does Discovery need someone to fly around in its wake cleaning up after its franchise-bending scenarios. Maybe that's what happened to Impossibly Handsome Bridge Crewman Milton Richter! Maybe he didn't die in the Battle at the Binary Stars (or wherever we saw him last) - maybe he transferred to Starfleet Law School and his emphasis is "Using NDAs to Maintain Canon."



- I dunno if I've mentioned this but Saru assaulted two people I love when the three of them were on Pahvo, then he even confessed that he did it of his own free will - and he didn't even get a slap on the wrist! Maybe I should change my BEST SPIN OFF nomination, maybe I should go with 'Starfleet Circuit Court,' so that Judge Milton Richter, aka Impossibly Handsome Mycelial Hangman, maybe while wearing a powdered wig, can drop in on the Discovery and force Saru to face his crimes!

Feb 25, 2018

YAAASSSSSS!!!!!!!!! Where is Q when we need him?!

Mar 3, 2018Edited: Mar 3, 2018


Best Ship

I want to be more creative than this, but I just really like the Discovery. I love its chunky straight-edges design, and the saucer made of concentric rings connected by glass-walled corridors is just cool (even if the spinning spore-jump effect is downright silly). It's close enough to the classic Enterprise-style design that it pushes all those familiarity buttons while still having its own touches of uniqueness.

I was tempted by the Klingon ship of the dead, which is awesome in the literal sense, but we never really got a good look at it because it was just too huge to take in (and was usually cloaking or decloaking or being blown up). I also liked the Shenzhou with its hanging-bridge design, but I think the fancy camerawork made it look better than it really is.


Best CO

Another obvious choice, but having just rewatched the season, I love prime-universe Captain Georgiou. She's sardonic and sarcastic, ribbing her officers, but snaps into no-nonsense mode when the situation demands. She actually does a pretty great job channeling that classic Kirkiness.


Best Hair

Again! Burnham's post-mutiny hair (i.e. the "natural" look) is just fantastic. It's as if she took her cue from Wesley Snipes in Blade and kept growing it. The contrast between her straightened look in the initial episodes (which continues to be used for all the CBS marketing) is stark, and the later look is so much better.


I'm also a fan of Owosekun's pile of braids, and the scruffy college look of the transporter operator.


Best Monologue

I was most moved by Saru's speech in preparation for attacking the Charon. His "My species is bred to sense the coming of death. I do not sense it now" suggests to me that the entire reason for putting that silly line in the pilot was for this very speech. Also great: "Discovery is no longer Lorca's. She is ours. Today will be her maiden voyage."


Best Adversary

This is an extremely hard question to answer! Every single adversary in this season is complex, and through their actions, actually helped our protagonists quite a bit along the way of pursuing whatever plan they were about. Lorca was the grandest schemer, but also one of the Federation's most effective weapons in the war against the Klingons (and, as discussed on the podcast, once he actually became The Adversary he got totally one-dimensional). Voq and L'Rell were probably our most implacable foes, but L'Rell saved Cornwell, and Voq as Tyler was mostly a good soldier on Discovery.


In the end I'd probably go with Emperor Georgiou. She exudes that sense of threat that is essential for a good adversary, and doesn't have any particular redeeming characteristics, even if her love for Burnham saves the day in the end. I still don't trust her at all.


Best Spin Off

It's a tie between: Just Establishing Shots, flying from outside ships in through their windows; and Tilly Sitting Down With Loners in the Mess Hall. These could probably be combined into a single compelling show.


Best Plot Hole

Taking "plot hole" literally, I found the extremely fast pace/tight editing of the whole series to be a bit jarring. We've discussed the various scene-to-scene cuts that disguise a large amount of time passing, and plot developments that are hidden just to surprise the audience later. The biggest, of course, being Tyler's surprise rescue by Discovery after being beamed into space. When could that arrangement have been made‽ How did she plant that thing on his leg by punching him in the stomach‽ How was Discovery close enough to beam him out within seconds without the Shenzhou detecting them‽ None of that made the least bit of sense given what we were shown, but it did make for a satisfying surprise.


In the more traditional "plot hole" sense, my main beef is in the complete lack of any kind of military discipline in Starfleet. Aside from Burnham's original sin, nobody ever faces consequences for terrible decisions or actions:

  • Lorca constantly disobeying admirals (though it wouldn't be Star Trek without this)

  • Stamets mouthing off and pouting about every single thing (this came to be lovable, but boy did I hate him at the beginning of the season)

  • Tilly and Stamets hiding the spore side effects

  • Burnham hiding Tyler's PTSD

  • Saru going nuts on Pahvo (high-five BionicDave!)

Of course, there never has been much in the way of military realism in any of the series, but I think the serial format makes it so much more obvious. If the Reset Button gets pushed at the end of every episode, accountability doesn't really mean anything. But with a single story arc across episodes, it becomes more jarring.



And now for my own awards!


Best Establishing Shot

Burnham and Tilly jogging through the saucer tunnel! Runner-ups: all the ones from the mirror universe, in which there were at least four window fly-throughs in The Wolf Inside alone.

Runner-up: Terran shuttle leaving ISS Shenzhou!


Best Line

Tilly, getting into her Mirror Universe character: "Well, let's not keep these assholes waiting!"


Best Adherence to Actual Physics

This show is pretty lazy with attempting to be scientifically accurate, but in one scene it actually is! Burnham notes that the Charon is 27 million kilometers away, and then then tells the shuttle to go there at Warp 1. Assuming that is light speed (which I believe it is from reading the Technical Manual 25 years ago), it should take about 90 seconds to get there… and it does!

Mar 3, 2018

"Just Establishing Shots" made me do a snort-laugh in this crowded coffee shop. Fortunately I was in between sips of coffee, or it might have been one of those spit takes Valerie loves. Well done. Also, I would most definitely watch that. And "Tilly Sitting Down With Loners in the Mess Hall" sounds awesome, and certainly far superior to "Comedians in Cars." And maybe there's a chance that Mary Wiseman would do a web series during the hiatus if we tweet at her about it?


"Kirkiness" is right for Captain Georgiou. I like the Emperor, and I'm sure she'll be back again someday, but we saw far too little of the Captain.


I love Burnham's hair, and how it's used to show us her character arc without necessarily calling attention to it. We just watched the Enterprise episode "Civilization," in which T'Pol has to wear a wig. It's jarring to see her without the Vulcan haircut, and it highlights just how important that hair is to our understanding of Vulcan identity.


And Discovery is just a beautiful ship. Watching a lot of Enterprise lately, I think the creators have done a fantastic job of designing a ship that looks like it's developed from those earlier designs a century earlier.


Also, awesome interrobang usage!

Mar 3, 2018Edited: Mar 3, 2018


Anyone else notice that Discovery looks an awful lot like the Vulcan IDIC symbol? The proportions are startlingly similar. I see that at least two people on Reddit agree with me! (and as one of them notes, the double-ring saucer section actually enhances the similarity.)




As a long-distance love letter to this thread, I want to submit another runner-up for Best Spinoff, which is Saru Walking. Doug Jones has done an amazing job of making the simple act of walking down a corridor look convincingly alien.



Yes! My wife and I tried to simulate this a few episodes ago but it almost broke our shoulders. His physical acting is an awesome gift to us all.

And I have to say, that "(sniff) Hmm." in this scene is one of the funniest lines so far this season.

@chrissam42 Love this! I often find myself wondering how quickly Saru would crush me in a flossing contest.

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