Feb 24, 2018

S1 wrap-up opinions

5 comments

Edited: Feb 25, 2018

Ah, your season 1 assessments, your Glennies, your Valerieseses… so much fun! Am again reminded about how lucky I am to have found Lower Decks. Your podcast and forums truly have made watching DIS twice as much fun :) It is required listening/reading, as far as this Trekkie is concerned!

 

Was interested to hear you guys give further discussion to the rumor that this series might not be set in the Prime Universe. I personally believe it’s just a rumor - or maybe I simply hope it is. The day they ever reveal DIS is not in the Prime Universe is the day I'd probably start to tune out. It’s one reason I’ve never much invested in the Kelvin Universe movies or comics; as I've written here before, Star Trek’s sprawling, longheld continuity is one of this franchise's biggest draws for me. So fingers crossed!

 

In listening to you guys pick what you loved/hated about season 1, I’ve tried to do the same. Tbh, I’ve really loved most of it! (except for the guy mentioned in the paragraph beneath this one.) My favorite episodes have been “Choose Your Pain” - especially for the excitement of Lorca’s imprisonment on the Klingon ship, plus the intro of Harry Mudd and 'Ash Tyler,' both of whom I’ll love - and “Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad” - especially for more merrily mad Mudd! Very episodic shows, I know. But right under those, I’d pick “Despite Yourself” and “Will You Take My Hand?” - the gripping start and stunning finish of a great serialized multi-episode story arc. Honestly though, DIS has given us so many wonderful characters, moments, settings, effects, and situations spread across all its episodes… and possibilities for so much more.

 

There’s only one episode I recall not liking much. “Lethe.” And my dislike for it stems from the only element I’ve not liked about this entire series: Sarek. Forget about his dubious starting/ending roles in the Klingon War - my beef with him began even before the pilot. And while I’ve given DIS an entire season to change my mind? I still regret Sarek’s forced, unnecessary and (still) problematic relationship with Burnham, all in regard to Spock’s continuity. I’m eager to see how s2 massages or inflames this. Spock is the most important character in all of Star Trek from where I sit, he is sacred ground - so I am beyond wary of any new plot element which suddenly muddles his unique, established background. I love Burnham, otherwise! I just wish she’d been raised by any other Vulcan family besides Spock’s.

 

[AND NOW, STRANGELY: SPOILERS FROM “THE LAST JEDI” OF ALL THINGS! Lol]

 

Lastly, I gotta mention something I call the TLJ effect, and how it may have helped me to enjoy our new Trek series even more. In December, I had one of the few loves of my life, the Star Wars saga, dump me out of nowhere. To say I hated “The Last Jedi” would be grand understatement; it was more like acid on my soul. And this acid was so corrosive, it burned the connection I had to a franchise I’d planned on being with for the rest of my life. But what's relevant here, is that it also tweaked my perspective on how I take in all of my most cherished entertainment. Maybe it made me.. go easier on DIS? Instead of letting things like my Sarek issues snowball into the 2nd half of this season, magnifying smaller complaints and souring my overall experience… I had this new barometer. “Okay,” I’d ask myself, “is the Sarek/Burnham connection as awful as the trashing of Luke Skywalker’s character? Is the apparent death-for-now of one of at least two gay characters as deeply insulting as the unwanted, unnecessary killing off of Luke, who’d become the last longtime hero you had left in this Star Wars franchise?” I’d ask myself: “is the abrupt, simplified conclusion to Lorca’s story as enduringly offensive to you as Luke’s own will be - or as an entire Star Wars film packed with contrived, badly written, wasteful subplots?” Or I’d ask myself: “is the thin characterization of Emperor Georgiou as awful as TLJ ignoring Star Wars’ history just to give a great sendoff to a character we’ve known for 10 minutes?” You get the point. Star Wars and Star Trek have been running alongside each other for most of my life. They’ve been my two uber-sagas of pop culture. So when one of them suddenly tells me that it would rather see younger fans? I can’t help but look kinder on the other - which may let me down here and there, but overall, it still clearly appreciates me a lot.

 

It’s yet another reason I still appreciate Star Trek - and why I love everything that “Star Trek: Discovery” is trying to do <3

Feb 25, 2018

This is the best review I've read of The Last Jedi, a film that I just wanted to end so I could go drink it all away.

 

I want to know about your history with Sybok. I saw Star Trek V in the theater when I was very young, but at that point I hadn't watched any TOS other than the previous films, so I didn't understand how shocking it was to learn that Spock had a brother we'd never heard about before. But I imagine that some fans must have had an intensely negative response to this "revelation."

 

And I'm not sure I could handle Disco being in another universe, either. I mean, I would handle it, but I wouldn't like it. I hope there's a way out of this that doesn't involve Spock and Sarek on screen together.

Feb 26, 2018Edited: Feb 26, 2018

Thanks for your TLJ-empathy, Glenn!

 

As for Sybok, it did bug me back then, but not nearly as much as the Burnham/Sarek relationship does now. I think it's because he was explained away as an embarrassment, an indiscretion of Sarek's which the family didn't like talking about (in a movie which critics and fans were also deriding as one not worth talking about). I still found it hard to swallow that Spock hadn't even told Kirk about him - but whatever, Sybok was dead two hours after we learned he existed, so I knew he'd wind up as nothing more than a footnote in some dusty Star Trek trivia book. Also, I was just a teenager then, and I think continuity means more to fans of a certain age. Also, that was an era ruled by primetime soaps packed with long-lost siblings - so maybe it was easier to see it as part of a passing trend? Or simply as one bad episode of a longer drama.

 

Burnham, though... she's here to stay. And while I can be forced to chalk up one secret sibling to a Spock we knew intimately for several decades? Springing up a second is a bridge too far for me. The writers for season 2 have a quite a tall order on their hands!

Feb 26, 2018

Haha, yeah, people really dislike that movie. I kind of love it. The opening with the Trio camping in Yosemite ... that's what my dreams are made of. Basically everything that I am is encapsulated in those fifteen minutes. But Sybok is pretty forgettable, and Burnham isn't -- or isn't going to be. But I remain optimistic. I'm tired of Sarek running around, but I think that perhaps his relationship with Burnham adds something to Spock's own struggle with his identity and his relationships. I mean, that line about their never having been a mutiny in Starfleet that he gives in "The Tholian Web" is now infused with a lot more pathos knowing that he is consciously omitting the example of his own sister.

Feb 26, 2018Edited: Feb 26, 2018

That's a constructive way to see Spock's Tholian line, in retrospect. I expect we'll be having to do a lot more of that! (Gotta love how the Memory-Alpha wiki, ever desperate to iron out wrinkles in continuity, already points out how Spock may have been referring to successful mutinies, not merely attempted ones such as his dear sister's! Lol)

 

And while Trek 5 is by no means my favorite Trek adventure, I do agree that there are likable parts. Such as the camping stuff, as you said... and I actually still do love the "excuse me... what does God need with a starship?" beat :D

Feb 27, 2018

Haha, right, that's surely among the top-ten most-quoted lines in Trek.

New Posts
  • I had missed some of the bonus content and am finally getting to your coverage of S1 ep1 Caretaker. I've really enjoyed it. I have seen the first 3 or 4 seasons back when they originally aired but haven't seen any since then. I can't say that Voyager stuck with me, it's my least favorite Trek. So my question for anyone is: What are the 5-10 best episodes of Voyager?
  • I am not the biggest Voyager fan. The series never lived up to the potential I thought it had. So my disappointment in it is all on my end as a viewer. That being said I recently watched the premiere episode again and was impressed by how good it was. The intro starts with a text crawl that looks like it came from a 16 bit video game. Its terrible. I don't think it was needed, some other contextual clue would have been better. The intro then drops us right in the action with Maquis being chased by Cardassians and disappearing. This is more action than most episodes get right off the bat. The main function of a premier is to show us the crew, the ship and the setting. Voyager does an excellent job introducing the crew. Disgraced officers, rebels and a mix of new and veteran Starfleet personnel promises for an interesting show. Captain Janeway is fully fleshed out from the get go, they did a great job making her character feel real for the audience. The cameo by Quark is also very well used, setting up a crucial friendship between Paris and Kim. They spend enough time and give us something about all of our main cast here which is a very strong start. The ship doesn't need alot of time and doesn't get it. It can't compare to the Enterprise so they don't try. It's a smart choice. The plot in how they ended up in the situation is where this gets a little thin. I actually think they would have been better served by making the alien more incomprehensible rather than a hologram that babbles. Janeway makes a difficult and understandable choice, but if I was a crewman I would be mightily pissed off. This is a strong start for the series and is the second best premier, after DS9, in my opinion. It was way lower for me prior to this rewatch, so I am somewhat surprised by Voyager here.

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