Forum Posts

chrissam42
Jan 26, 2020
In Star Trek
Any CTM plans for the new series?
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chrissam42
May 08, 2019
In Star Trek
Reading all the widely varying opinions on Discovery these last few weeks, I found myself thinking back over the decades to my favorite reviews of earlier Star Trek series. So I thought I'd start a meta-thread on reviews in general. My favorite reviewer of all time is Jamahl Epsicokhan, who runs Jammer's Reviews. I first discovered him around 2000, when Voyager was still on. He got started writing DS9 and Voyager reviews "live", and then continued with Andromeda, BSG, movies, etc., and also went "backward" and reviewed some past things like TNG as time allowed. He's a great writer, extremely thoughtful and I have devoted years of my life to reading just about everything he has written about the shows that I have seen—and a few that I wanted to know what happened but not quite enough to actually continue watching (*cough* Enterprise). The other day I was lamenting that Jammer had gotten too busy, as we all do, to continue his reviewing hobby. I loaded up his website to see what was the last thing he had written, and I was shocked to see that he has actually been reviewing Discovery all along! I had just not noticed because the places he posts new reviews happen to not overlap with the places I look for things. (Nerdy aside: I still use RSS as my main news-I'm-interested-in discovery method. Jammer's Reviews used to be on my RSS list but somehow it must have fallen off. Long live RSS!) What are your favorite review sites?
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chrissam42
Feb 18, 2019
In Star Trek
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Glenn and I love a good establishing shot, and Discovery provides them in spades. They're just gorgeous. And I have noticed something about them this season. I haven't actually gone through and compiled all the examples, but Season 2 definitely has a theme going on with establishing shots that start upside down, and then right themselves on the way to the actual scene. Glenn and Valerie noted this in the Calypso review (though that one was explicitly going for being disorienting). But in the first three or four episodes of S2 there have been at least one or two examples per episode. The ones that stand out in my memory are: 1. the Tilly half-marathon scene; 2. L'Rell addressing the High Council (or whatever that is). I know there have been a couple more but they are escaping me now. Is there something thematic about this, or is it just cool? I, for one, love how Discovery is playing a bit with the concept of "there's no up in space". Long overdue, in my opinion!
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chrissam42
Feb 09, 2019
In Star Trek
I'm just now finally getting around to watching the Short Treks, and just listened to your podcast reviewing the Tilly episode involving dilithium. Coincidentally I've also been rewatching the 2003 Battlestar Galactica miniseries (which is EXCELLENT if you haven't seen it). I was amused by a line in BSG where they named the magic starship fuel in that universe: Tylium! Obviously Tilly is at the center of some cross-universe rift.
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chrissam42
Oct 25, 2018
In Star Trek
News! A new animated series called Star Trek: Lower Decks! http://www.startrek.com/article/new-trek-animated-series-announced Are you going to send them a cease and desist letter?
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chrissam42
Mar 19, 2018
In Star Trek
During my season rewatch, the music leapt out at me in a way that I didn't notice the first time. Since then I've asked Alexa to play the Disco soundtrack a few times just to soak in it. I am a big fan of new-era Battlestar Galactica, not least for its fantastic music by Bear McCreary, and I hear a lot of echos of that in Disco: lots of drums and "eastern" influences like reed-flute. And in the more "traditional" symphonic-sci-fi vein I hear an echo of the JJ-era Trek film scores by Michael Giacchino, which I also love. Elsewhere in these forums, people have rated their favorite Trek show theme musicks. I'm a sucker for the traditional big-orchestra symphonic movie soundtrack style, so I would say: TNG, TOS, DIS, DS9, VOY, ENT. As an aside, I have a personal obsession with the DS9 theme, and how it reflects the heights of cultural power that Star Trek held when the series came out. It's so gentle and contemplative, which is something a new show trying to prove its bona fides would never try to pull off. I once saw the DS9 theme performed live by an orchestra in Denver at an outdoor show that I just happened to be walking by; and it was remarkably powerful music! I was moved close to tears with the opening notes played by French horns. (And it's just funny that the main theme is played by tiny piccolo trumpets.) I'm a lifelong Trekkie and even I was surprised by my emotional response!
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chrissam42
Mar 11, 2018
In Star Trek
My not-particulary-organized observations on rewatching the whole season. I don't quite have the energy to edit this into readable long-form prose, so here are some bulleted lists for you! Passage of time I particularly paid attention to any mention of how much time had passed between episodes, or even individual scenes. This show is very tightly edited to keep the action humming along (or sometimes to hide some plot development from the audience so as to have a surprise reveal later), so it's not unusual for a simple scene-to-scene cut to disguise the passage of some significant amount of time. The most important thing here, which countless people have discovered over decades, is that stardates are totally meaningless. Burnham's logs mention stardate 1207.3 and 1308.9; Harry Mudd (between the two Burnham logs) mentions stardates 2136.8 and 2137.2; and Admiral Cornwell mentions stardates 4789.6 and 4851.5 during her rundown of the disastrous Klingon war during Discovery's absence. Meanwhile TOS uses stardates back in the 1300s, so I think we can agree that this is pretty useless. Specific episode mentions… Context is for Kings: while Burnham is doing her "code reconciliation" to prove her worth to Stamets, there is a clock visible on her holographic screen. It starts at 1934 and ends up at 0815, so that passing of a few seconds on screen is over 12 hours of real time. Of course, this is explicitly a "time-passing montage" so that's not surprising, but it gives a hint of how free the show is with surprising leaps of time. Choose Your Pain takes place about three weeks after the previous episode. Someone explicitly says "these last three weeks" (since the saving of Corvan 2), and there's another mention of "seven months" since the battle of the binaries, which also fits with the previous mention of six months in Context. This episode also places the Buran's destruction at "six months ago", i.e. about a month into the war. Into the Forest: a good example of "action compression." Burnham indicates their destination is "600 meters this way" and then in the next cut they're there. Moving through hostile territory would have taken a significant amount of time. Mirror universe arc: each episode seems to cover a day or two. Burnham's voiceover says "it's been two days" since arriving on the ISS Shenzhou in the previous episode. Similarly, in What's Past is Prologue, Burnham talks to Lorca about "what you said on the shuttle yesterday" in the previous episode. Foreshadowing Obviously with the big character revelations, there was bound to be some good foreshadowing early on. During the first Burnham/Georgiou scene, in the desert, Burnham asks Georgiou, "What would you do if you were trapped here for the next 89 years?" and Georgiou's answer? "Easy, I'd escape." Hints of her mirror-self's badassery. Voq chokes L'Rell when he thinks she has betrayed him. Then of course, as Ash, he chokes Burnham later. (He grabbed someone else's throat sometime during the season too, but I can't remember who. Maybe Mudd in prison?) Consistent! Proposed Mafia name: Voq the Choke. L'Rell says to Voq, "I do not want the mantle of leadership. Standing behind you, I am free to move." But of course at the end of the season, she is the leader and now Vash stands behind. In Butcher they explicitly mention eating Georgiou, which of course L'Rell mentions again to Emperor Georgiou. Specifically, Lorca… Obviously the eye sensitivity thing Saru: "Captain Lorca is a man who does not fear the things normal people fear." Lorca's grilling of Tyler about Issaquah is reminiscent of Burnham grilling Emperor Georgiou about Malaysia at the end of the season. When Lorca and Cornwell are "catching up" there are a few clues that Lorca is not fully familiar with the past. Of Burnham, he says "her story is well-documented" a bit defensively, reflecting the studying-up he has done. And while Cornwell reminisces about old times, he hesitates and she says "You don't remember?" Of course he doesn't, but he manages to deflect. Then of course there are his scars and his sleeping with a phaser under his pillow. (Incidentally I would like to know what those scars—a triangle and some other simple shape, maybe a line?—represent.) Just before the jump to the mirror universe, Lorca says, "Let's go home." Cool thematic moments T'Kuvma's skin is jet black, and of course Voq is completely white. I don't know if that means anything, but it was striking as the ultra-closeup of T'Kuvma's face was the first shot of the whole show. When Discovery jumps to the mirror universe, it's not the normal "spin and dive" effect. Instead, the ship splits in two and kind of flies apart, instead of just going "down" like it usually does. Random observations Opening titles: do they mean anything? In most Star Trek series, it's just focused on the ship. Enterprise expands that with the theme of exploration and connecting our present time with that of the show. But I'm not sure what I'm supposed to make of Discovery's mixed themes of design schematics, biological things, and dust-to-dust imagery. Related: Does the name of the episode ever actually appear on screen? I don't think so. There were a lot of Tilly snoring jokes in the beginning. It's a cheap laugh but I thought they did it pretty well. Could be fun if that continues to be a running gag throughout the show. LOVE the "Previously on Discovery" announcement, in Klingon, by L'Rell in the last episode. Burnham says "An isic for your thoughts" is an old Vulcan saying. I wonder if it's related to "Only Nixon could go to China." Obvious missed opportunity for someone to say "Thar be whales here" after beaming aboard the gormagander. The ISS Shenzhou has mirrored "rugs" on the floor throughout the ship! Worst episode rant! Pahvo. First, the blue dust looks exactly like the spores, to the point that I kept assuming they would be revealed to be related, even into the next episode. Second, the silliness of a big crystal antenna on a random planet being able to see ships anywhere in the quadrant in real time just compounds the previous physical silliness of the spore network. Third, I join BionicDave in hating the conversion of Saru into a murderous brute, and then having no consequences come of it. Fourth, of course, who built the tent‽ Saru's eyes: At the beginning of the season they are intensely green, but at the end they are more of a delicate blue. It's probably my imagination, but it seems like they shifted after his "communication" with the Pahvans. (Or, it could just be that the lighting on Discovery seems to be very heavy on the blues, and more broad-spectrum on the Shenzhou.) Things that make you go hmmm.
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chrissam42
Mar 03, 2018
In Star Trek
I rewatched the whole season on my phone so that I could capture my favorite spaceship moments. Anyone else have their own? Why save the best for last... Hot Disco Co0l Disco Monster of the Week (alternate caption: lolololol) Gagarin! Discovery covering for Gagarin Behind you! (Where is Kol's face paint‽) There's no I in U.S.S. Forced Perspective Terran Shuttle Terran Shuttle Underground Disco Spock is on that ship! NCC-1701-A…lmost
Spaceships! content media
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chrissam42
Feb 19, 2018
In Star Trek
I love the idea that you have discussed on the show a couple times: that this whole first season with its huge themes and adventures could serve as merely the "pilot" to the rest of the series. At the end of the first half of the season, (I think it was Valerie?) proposed the idea that those first ten episodes were a kind of "see, we can do each of these types of episodes"—horror, Harry Mudd farce, time loop shenanigans (but I repeat myself), philosophical dilemma, prison escape—which I really loved. I cancelled my CBS subscription after the finale (hopefully my $50 has been enough to fund the second season) but I have until March 2 before it cuts me off. I'm going to attempt to rewatch the whole season by then (difficult as I have twin 3-year-olds). Obviously the rewatchability of this season is off the charts with everything we've learned. And as a sub-quest I want to pay close attention any mention of the passage of time, to see if we can make a guess as to how much time actually passes between each of these scene cuts that often seem to disguise quite a bit of behind-the-scenes discussions and developments. Please pardon my overuse of parenthetical diversions! (I actually deleted a couple of them.)
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chrissam42
Feb 14, 2018
In Star Trek
From the amazing Fashion It So
NCC-1701-❤︎ content media
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chrissam42
Feb 12, 2018
In Star Trek
Contains spoilers from the end of Season 1… With his new role as right-hand-man to the potential uniter/leader of the Klingon Empire, I could see Ash becoming a kind of Klingon cultural icon. Along with improvements in the Voq-humanification surgical procedure, maybe large numbers of Klingons (especially those in professions that might cross paths with humans) "transition" to a more human-looking form. With Ash's pleasant face as the template, we end up with lots of tan and beardy hybrids running around…
Crazy-Ash theory content media
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chrissam42
Jan 25, 2018
In Star Trek
This is just a series of unconnected thoughts about the mirror universe that I've been pondering lately. They're not really directly connected to Discovery, but I wanted to write them down somewhere! Why haven't the terrans crossed over to our universe and just conquered everything? They obviously know about our universe at a high level and are possibly even more technically advanced than us, given all the fancy killing devices they've come up with. (Not to mention that little star they carry around in the imperial flagship!) So you'd think they'd be able to figure out a way to cross over and make a go at taking over the Federation. Arguments against my fantasy include: 1. since the Federation is cooperative, it probably has a much larger number of ships and personnel to throw at a war; and 2. When the Federation goes to war, it really goes to war, and all this love-everybody talk goes out the window. I could see the show-writers going somewhere interesting with this given how they opened the series with the Klingon mocking of "we come in peace". Season 2: the mirror universe invades ours, and in the course of fighting them, the Federation starts acting even more evil than the Terrans in order to win. (I really hope they don't actually do this, because Season 1 has been dark enough, I would really prefer a slightly lighter-weight next season.) General implausibility of the mirror universe concept as presented I feel silly even writing this down, because I usually try not to devote a lot of time and energy to nitpicking the real-physics plausibility of sci-fi shows. But I really liked this observation that I read online a few years ago, by my friend Joe Sondow (who runs a bunch of popular Trek-themed Twitter accounts like RikerGoogling, PicardTips, etc). His observation is that there's no way a universe with such radically different social dynamics could result in this long sustained history of the same people hooking up and having the same kids over generations to produce genetically identical doppelgangers to people in our universe. And the more I think about it, it doesn't make much sense for there to be a half-Vulcan Spock on the ISS Enterprise in the original Mirror, Mirror. One would think that Terrans would frown on interspecies relationships, "half-breeds" and non-humans serving on ISS starships! Speaking of sex… It occurs to me that the reason they need all the sexiness in the mirror universe is, at the rate people get killed off, you'd need a tremendous birth rate just to keep the population from collapsing! Okay I'm done.
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chrissam42
Jan 23, 2018
In Star Trek
With "Vaulting Ambition" we have the intriguing possibility [spoilers!] that we could end the season with no more Lorca and no more spore drive. This would be pretty exciting from a series-concept point of view: each season could have major characters and MacGuffins that define the arc of that season, with each season being thematically distinct from each other. It's not quite Star Trek: Sliders, but it's closer than anything we've had before!
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chrissam42
Jan 12, 2018
In Star Trek
I generally prefer to watch the show "blind" but I did stumble on the Ash-identity theory (probably on this very forum!) early in the show's run. And something that has always bothered me is the origin of Ash's backstory as discussed by him and Lorca in their chat while training on Klingon-shootin' in the disco-holodeck. As a Seattle native, that conversation stuck with me :) Presumably Lorca got Ash's background info from Starfleet personnel records, which means either: 1. L'Rell's house of spies managed to implant a fake Ash record in the Starfleet database, or 2. Ash Tyler was a real person who was captured by the Klingons and replaced. I would assume #2 is more plausible, but it seems odd that they wouldn't have mentioned "oh you're the guy who went missing" or something. Any other possibilities I'm missing?
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chrissam42
Oct 22, 2017
In Star Trek
I was looking online for cocktail recipes from the podcast, but it turns out it's not easy to search for Georgiou cocktails… So let this thread be the definitive resource!
Cocktails! content media
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chrissam42
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