Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Last night's ORVILLE terrified me.

That said, I noticed that Mark Jackson's performance as Isaac was noticeably different after a certain point and that suggests the situation isn't entirely as presented.

I have to say, THE ORVILLE has really turned Brannon Braga's reputation around for me. I used to view Braga as the Bill Dial of STAR TREK, a comically inept incompetent who stumbled into a leadership role and floundered aimlessly, but his writing on THE ORVILLE and his writing on this episode is nothing short of excellent.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

If they pay it off like I think they will, it will be pretty impressive

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I know there was a proposed spin-off post-Enterprise where the Vulcans were going to leave the Federation.  I'm not sure if that had ever happened (even with a minor species), but I think this is potentially fascinating territory for the Orville to cover.

That was the original trajectory for DS9 season 4 - the Vulcans would leave the Federation. When they brought in Worf, they changed the crisis to the Klingons abandoning the peace treaty with the Federation.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Interesting.  I was actually thinking something else, but that would've been pretty huge.

The Orville was great last night.  It's incredible that it's gotten to a place where they can have an episode with very little humor and make me feel terrified for the crew.

Other than to help us identify him, is there any particular reason why everyone else on Isaac's planet has red eyes and he has blue?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I dunno. Shall we speculate on Isaac? Spoilers!!!
































I noticed that there was a marked difference between Isaac in previous episodes and after he was rebooted in this one. Specifically: he was no longer indulging or respecting other people's feelings. A key moment for me in Isaac's character was when he and the two children, Marcus and Ty, were stranded on a barren planet and the kids were fighting over a video game that Isaac grabbed, threw into the air and shot. "The game is gone," he informed them. "It is never to be spoken of again." He was concerned about the boys' conflict interfering with their continued survival and even though their feelings weren't important to him, he understood that their feelings were important to them.

It's sort of like how Slider_Quinn21 doesn't take media tie-in comic books, novels, animations, webisodes and such seriously, but he knows that I take them seriously, and he doesn't pretend to consider them canon, but he acknowledges that someone out there does and that my feelings about them are just as legitimate as his lack of feeling towards them. There was consideration and respect even from a canon-following robot like Slider_Quinn21 towards a childish fantasist like me, just as there was from an emotion-averse robot like Isaac towards the actual children and humans who must seem childlike to him.

That is not present in Mark Jackson's performance once Isaac is rebooted. In previous episodes, even when dismissing people's emotional investments, Isaac would put in the time to lounge around Dr. Finn's quarters with beer and demands for dinner. When she asked him if she were a bad mother, he immediately answered, "Yes," but lingered to discuss it in more detail. Jackson's post-reboot performance has a very different sense of timing; his behaviour towards Marcus and Ty in his farewell is clipped and dismissive. His proceeding through his farewell party is devoid of slow, careful precision. He throws away Ty's drawing when, even if he didn't value it, he would have previously grasped that Ty valued him having it.

Ty himself notes the discrepancy: why would Isaac take the time to give piano lessons and play games of cognition and skill with the children? There was a level of indulgence to Isaac; that indulgence is absent once the upload is complete. It's almost as though in the upload, the Kaylons removed and/or added some specific programming. It makes me wonder if Isaac, when aboard the Orville, was programmed to be ignorant of the invasion plot. If the spy doesn't know he's a spy, he can't give himself away. After the upload, the Kaylons restored his mission and removed his affection for the crew, for Dr. Finn and for the children.

There's also the fact that there is no explicit onscreen event that indicates completion for Isaac's mission to plot an invasion of Earth. The Kaylons are immediately shown to be capable of remotely commandeering the Orville even before they've stepped aboard. They seem to have stepped up their timetable after being found out, but I wonder if Isaac was shut down because his fondness for the crew became a contradiction with the sleeper programming to gather intelligence to eradicate the Union.

I dunno! Generally, actors like Jackson are contracted for 5 - 7 years, so I assume they'll find some way to keep the actor in the cast. But my concluding point: the day Slider_Quinn21 doesn't indulge my fondness for tie-ins is the day we all know he's been replaced by a robot and we have to tell his wife.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

My own take on it:

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I think there were some interesting choices made in the story that are not so much clues to the resolution but instead groundwork.

First there is the title of the episode - “Identity”.  It’s a title choice that has many layers.  Obviously it’s referring to who Isaac’s people really are, but it can also be referring to Isaac himself.  Isaac has formed his own personal identity while on the Orville.  As he mentioned in an earlier episode, his subroutines have been altered to the point that he needs the Orville crew to function.  Keeping them alive is his own self preservation in a way.

Next we start out the episode with Isaac playing something like 8th dimensional chess.  Isaac boasts about how he is smarter than everyone, but he’s also proving his ability to form complex strategies and win every time.

Then Isaac shuts down.  As we later find out, this was done remotely by his people from a vast distance away.  If it can be done to Isaac, it stands to reason it can be done to any of his kind - potentially to all of them no matter where they are.

Isaac returns home and is rebooted.  It is stated he will be taken away to be disassembled and re-integrated; but the only thing that happens is an interface and possibly a download.  This is different than the Kaylon receiving Isaac’s reports - this was a direct connection to Isaac himself.  After the interface, Isaac is *not* disassembled and is returned to talk to the crew of the Orville.  Why did the Kaylon change their mind?

Isaac goes through his good byes and the party, but he is acting a little differently.  After receiving the drawing, he leaves.  Before leaving the ship, Isaac takes a long look at the drawing and then discards it.  Why did he look at it like that?  Why didn’t he refuse the drawing when it was first offered?

Lastly, the Kaylon spring their trap; but they don’t kill the Orville crew on the spot?  They only kill those who are attacking them.  Why keep the crew alive?  Why take the ship?  The Kaylon don’t need any of them.

I think Isaac is playing a long game; and like his people were doing, Isaac was stalling for time (which made it necessary to act differently to the crew so as not to give himself away to his people).  Isaac has infected his people with his subroutines in that download, and they are being altered to have an affinity for the Orville just as Isaac has.  Isaac knew this would happen, but it takes time.  Ty’s exploration of the planet messed things up a little causing the Kaylon to spring the trap early before their minds could be changed, but it’s still processing in their systems.

The interesting thing is this.  What if it doesn’t work?  There is another option. Would Isaac push the off button of the Kaylon species?  Makes for an interesting discussion on genocide, and it could potentially make Isaac the last Kaylon in existence (making him more like Data).  Of course, Isaac won’t be viewed the same by humanity after this; but killing his entire species to save the Union would go a long way toward the Union (and the Orville) giving him a second chance.

And the massive punchline to the whole story?  If Isaac pulls all of this off, he’s going to prove he is smarter than everybody else.

Just my thoughts on it.  We’ll see where it goes!

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

All interesting theories.  I do wonder how the series will continue with Isaac regardless of the outcome.

*********

On Discovery, I'm having a hard time connecting with this season.  I don't know what it is, but there's a lot of non-science things going on.  They had a lot of spirituality on DS9, but I don't know if it works as well here.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Also, is Section 31 a secret?  It's been a while since I've seen the DS9 episodes (and I haven't seen the Enterprise ones), but I thought it was completely off the books and no one knew about it?  Now Georgiou is flashing her special combadge, and it's so recognizable that Burnham knows what it is immediately?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I feel DISCOVERY has been pretty clear that the Red Angel phenomenon is not supernatural or metaphysical in nature?

**

Oh, Section 31. I feel like Section 31 has been completely mishandled. Ira Steven Behr created them because he felt it unlikely that the Federation's utopia could exist without some sort of black-ops wetwork division. In their three episodes of DEEP SPACE NINE, the most disturbing thing about Section 31 is their lack of official existence. We only get to know one agent, Luther Sloane, and there's no record of him.

In their second episode, a Romulan proves that Section 31 doesn't exist and that Sloane concocted it as a hoax to assassinate an old enemy; this proof turns out to be staged by Sloane himself, showing that Section 31 could cease to exist on his say-so. Starfleet doesn't acknowledge its existence. To Bashir and Sisko, it's an urban legend or a rogue nation (like the Syndicate in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE). To Odo, Section 31 IS the Federation and claiming otherwise is just an exercise in plausible deniability. And to Sloane, Section 31 is like the Impossible Missions Force. Is Section 31 part of the Federation? Are they heroes? Are the villains? Could Section 31 be trickery and fakery with Sloane using a transporter and a holodeck?

Ira Steven Behr created Section 31 specifically to exist in this ambiguity and I think subsequent writers missed the point. With INTO DARKNESS, Section 31 tries to spark interstellar war between the Klingons and the Federation, a ridiculously attention-demanding tactic from what was a covert organization of spies. Strangely for me, I dislike the SECTION 31 novels which umambiguously declare Section 31 to be villains and have Bashir expose and defeat the organization.

And I think DISCOVERY has missed the point too, showing Section 31 in the chain of command, taking orders from admirals, being known to Captain Pike and sporting special badges. The point of Behr's Section 31 is that they exist entirely as a state of mind and the belief that the ends justify the means and that the Federation's hands can be kept clean if the black-ops wetwork is performed by individuals who aren't sanctioned but also aren't enforced or prevented.

Sloane, at the end of his second episode, tells Bashir that Section 31 engages in betrayal and sabotage and assassination so that Bashir doesn't have to -- so to present Section 31 as a branch of Starfleet Intelligence undermines the reason why their writer created them. Section 31, as presented in DS9 and briefly in Enterprise, predates the United Federation of Planets and exists within the depths of human nature itself.

I concede that Alex Kurtzman has acknowledged the discrepancy between Section 31 being a branch of Starfleet in DISCOVERY and Section 31 being an urban myth in DS9. He says he'll show the transition in Michelle Yeoh's SECTION 31 TV show and I imagine he'll have the Discovery crew reject 31 and shut it down, leaving it as a quiet arrangement between individual officers rather than an actual Starfleet department -- but even that would explicitly declare that Section 31 isn't the Federation and rather misses Ira Steven Behr's point.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

I feel DISCOVERY has been pretty clear that the Red Angel phenomenon is not supernatural or metaphysical in nature?

The Red Angel, yes.  What I'm talking about mostly revolves around the Culber subplot.  They touched on it a bit last season too, where the spore network seemed to be some sort of afterlife.  Now they have someone's spirit existing and then being reformed into a human body?  I know Trek has dealt with stuff like this before, but it doesn't feel right for the series for whatever reason.  Could just be me.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

And that's how I remembered Section 31 and why I was so surprised to hear it talked about so openly.  Even if it eventually gets phased out, people in the DS9 era should know about it.  Or, at least, react to it in some way.  "That was phased out hundreds of years ago."  It'd be like Homeland Security getting phased out and people refusing to believe it ever existed in 2200.

I know we've beaten this horse to death, but I think this could've been another example of the show being better in the 25th century.  What if, after DS9, Section 31 did go legit?  What if, because of the actions of Bashir and co., remnants of the organization decided to expose themselves to Starfleet and make a "tamer" version of the organization.  And then maybe the Georgiou show makes it clear that they're not tamer.  At least it's progress instead of writing something and then doing backflips to make it work in the existing continuity.

Then there's stuff like Saru.  There's all this stuff about him and his planet, but the problem is that we've never seen any other Kelpians.  They've never been mentioned again.  So while there certainly could be Kelpians on other starships, none have ever been prominent enough to be seen or mentioned ever again.  If their planet joined the Federation, we might never know.  Same with Denobulans.  I know we don't see many Tellarites (even though they're founding members of the Federation), but it makes me worry that these characters are the only ones who ever made it.  It'd be like if Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier but no other African Americans wanted to (or were allowed to) play.

In Saru's case, I worry that his fellow Kelpians destroyed their enemies, destroyed all the technology, and never became warp capable.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

You know, I haven’t seen any Scottish people for about a year. I’m starting to wonder if all Scottish people have ceased to exist. ;-)

**

Slider_Quinn21 is quite unfair, taking no issue with VOYAGER regularly killing and resurrecting Harry Kim and others via time travel and alternate universe doubles. But DISCOVERY has apparently crossed some line.

I don’t see what’s so problematic here. When Stamets kissed Dr. Culber’s dying body, he acted as a lightning rod and transferred Culber’s ebbing lifeforce into the mycelial network in which Culber’s consciousness reasserted itself and his perceptual effect on the interphasic dimension reconstituted his physical form and actually no, I see the problem here and Slider_Quinn21 is right, this is complete and total nonsense.

**

I honestly don’t have much to say about Slider_Quinn21’s criticisms of DISCOVERY being set in the wrong era. It wasn’t when DISCOVERY was intended to only have the first season set pre-TOS, but now it’s a problem. He’s right again.

**

It won’t be difficult to square Section 31 being a branch of Starfleet intelligence in DSC with Section 31 being a secret cabal that pre-dates the Federation itself on DS9 — at least in terms of the STAR TREK universe. As early as “Return of the Archons,” TREK indicated that telepathic technology that can wipe memories exists. But even without that, Section 31 is only being spoken of openly aboard a highly classified warship and Captain Pike knew of 31 not because he had worked for them, but because he was friends with one of their agents.

The issue is not really the continuity as much as the authorial intent. Behr’s Section 31 was not within Starfleet; it was a separate organization that occasionally recruited or impersonated Starfleet officers. In addition, I don’t really see Behr’s Section 31 being dispatched to hunt down escaped mental patients. DISCOVERY is treating Section 31 like Starfleet’s personal assassins and thugs; the point of Behr’s Section 31 is that they run rings around Starfleet and seem to have little difficulty co-opting it without existing within it. Behr’s Section 31 would be giving Admiral Cornwell orders (or ‘suggestions’).

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Ha with the Culber stuff, I acknowledged it might just be me.

And I don't forgive all the Voyager stuff.  Voyager was very much a mess, but I just had fun with it for whatever reason.

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But even without that, Section 31 is only being spoken of openly aboard a highly classified warship and Captain Pike knew of 31 not because he had worked for them, but because he was friends with one of their agents.

True, but Michael recognized their combadge.  Maybe she might know via Georgiou or Sarek or something, but I was more surprised that she knew than Pike. 

But just having their own combadges sorta takes the "secret" out of "secret agent" doesn't it? smile

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Setting aside being sardonic -- Culber's resurrection made no sense. Stamets kissing his dead corpse in no way explains how he somehow continued to exist inside the spore network. The explanation might as well have been that DISCOVERY found a loophole via the spore drive to exercise their option on actor Wilson Cruz for a second season. At least VOYAGER's time travel and alternate universe doubles made some logical sense within their own stories. Culber's restoration is inexplicable. And yes, the badges are indeed a problem that will prompt some fleet-wide databank wipe and "Archons" style memory erasure or some wanton act of Q.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

The Orville

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Things actually went a little more traditionally than we were thinking.  Isaac did betray his people, but it wasn't as extreme as we were thinking.  It also didn't really seem like he was playing any sort of long game.  It seems like he was going along with it, possibly hoping to think of something when it was time.

At the same time, I don't know if Isaac can really be let off the hook.  Yeah, he acted when he needed to, and he was willing to sacrifice himself.  But he knew the whole time that his people could possibly decide to destroy them all.  If he ever got to the point where he was willing to sacrifice himself to protect them, he should've said something.  The fact that he didn't is pretty damning against him.  Even if he thought/calculated that he was providing enough evidence to protect the crew, he should've at least warned them of what could've happened.  He didn't even tell them that he'd be deactivated once he'd accumulated enough data.

The show didn't really even try to explain any of this.  They said that Isaac was activated after the builders were all killed, but that information wasn't kept from him.  He seemed to know what happened.  There didn't seem to be any indication that anything was kept from him to prevent him from making a logical leap or anything that would prevent him from telling the crew about it.

He knew.  He didn't say anything.  So unless he decided that he cared exactly when he acted, he's still largely responsible for all the people that died over the course of this incident.

It was very reminiscent of second parters on TNG or VOY.  Just a little too neat and tidy.  But I did think the Krill plan was a pretty creative idea, and I was still impressed at how serious everything was taken.

My question is this - they seemed to imply that the Kalon were much more advanced than the Union, but the Krill seemed to destroy them fairly easily.  How in the heck is the Union staying in a war with the Krill?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

SPOILERS





































I thought the second part was good, but, well -- conventional. The ending seems to imply that Isaac will be back at his post next week with his colleagues happy to be serving with a comrade who was surveilling them to plot their deaths and participated in an attack that killed several crewman. Questions raised in Part 1 -- why was Isaac behaving differently after the download? Why wasn't he disassembled as the Kaylon said he would be? -- they're either not addressed because the writers have no answers or because they wish to imply rather than assert. In addition, it's not entirely clear why Isaac, having taken part in this invasion, drew the line at ejecting colleagues into space and executing Ty when killing them all would have been the endgame regardless.

The episode really needed the crew to lock Isaac up and demand answers for all of the above: how much did he know? Why did he change his mind? Instead, THE ORVILLE has taken the view that because Isaac has betrayed every Kaylon, he'll have to side with the Union if only by default and poses no threat. And that makes sense to a degree, but after what happened, it makes no sense for Mercer to allow Isaac to be unguarded with crewmen or for the senior staff to reactivate him. They're treating Isaac like he's Picard after he's been rescued from the Borg assimilation when they should be treating him like Grant Ward on AGENTS OF SHIELD.

Now, Seth MacFarlane is a writer of rare nuance and talent, and I can't imagine him failing to mine all of the above for drama and comedy in future episodes. Perhaps nobody wants to hang out with Isaac next week and Mercer has a security squad guarding him at all times. But it is really odd that Mercer, despite his forgiving nature and understanding, isn't demanding full answers and explanations from Isaac before securing Isaac's spot on the Orville.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I agree with all that.  It's also odd that the Union is allowing him to stay under the care of Mercer.  I know things have changed quite a bit since the Pilot, but it's been a year since they essentially gave him a ship because they were doing Grayson a favor.  And because they needed captains.

Now they're letting him hold on to one of the most dangerous "men" in the galaxy?  I get that they trust him more now (and he's earned that), but you gotta think Union command is a little worried that they're letting that guy hold a potential timebomb.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I'm suddenly reminded of the TNG episode, "Phantasms," where a malfunctioning Data attacked Troi with a knife and stabbed her bloody and at the end of the episode, Troi paid Data a visit in private and happily sat alone with him to enjoy some cake. I was nine years old when I watched that one and I honestly think that episode stunted my emotional growth and social skills, making me think that violently attacking someone could be easily forgiven and forgotten inside a single hour of TV and as I type this, I am convinced that "Phantasms" made me the sociopath I became in my late teens and early twenties. Strangely, that episode, much like the first part of Isaac's betrayal, was also written by Brannon Braga. I trust Seth MacFarlane will do better.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Informant has been sharing videos from that stupid MIDNIGHT’s EDGE YouTube channel that insist DISCOVERY is set in the Kelvin timeline, not the Prime timeline, and that revealing it to be a Kelvin timeline show is part of a plot for Kurtzman to steal the STAR TREK TV rights from CBS and take them to Paramount because Paramount owns the movie rights and the Kelvin timeline — an asinine assertion: CBS owns STAR TREK; they license the movie rights to Paramount; CBS could do a Kelvin show if they wanted and Paramount could do a Prime movie if they wanted.

Anyway. The most recent DISCOVERY episode, “If Memory Serves,” opens with a “Last time on STAR TREK” recap which uses footage from THE ORiGINAL SERIES’ “The Menagerie” two-parter (really the original STAR TREK pilot with a framing sequence). As if to further put MIDNIGHT’s EDGE lies into the ground, DISCOVERY declined to use the remastered, CG-reconstructed for HD version of the TOS episode — they used the original broadcast version of the 60s effects footage.

DISCOVERY declined to (a) refilm the material with the present day sets and actors or (b) explain the visual differences or (c) acknowledge the disconnect at all while (d) definitively declaring which timeline DISCOVERY exists within COULD WE STOP IT WITH MIDNIGHT’s EDGE NOW FOR GOD’S SAKE.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I did think that was cool, but I also hated it from a continuity perspective.  It's hard enough to see Ethan Peck as Spock, but now they want us to see Ethan Peck as Spock while also showing Leonard Nimoy as Spock before the episode?  I think Anson Mount has done a good-enough job as the less famous Pike, and I think Peck's Spock is good enough to work.

Getting a follow-up to Talos IV was cool.  It would've been cooler if we didn't get recasted versions of the characters they showed in the episode.

This has been a Slider_Quinn21 Dead Horse Rant. All Rights Reserved.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I totally agree with you that it was a mistake to keep DISCOVERY in the 23rd century after the anthology format was discarded. Admittedly, that allowed CBS to renew THE NEXT GENERATION for an eighth season, but still.

However, I think that using the original footage of "The Cage"/"The Menagerie" had a neat effect. They could have reshot those clips with Anson Mount and the DISCOVERY version of the Enterprise and the DISCOVERY version of Talos IV. Why didn't they do it? Initially, I wondered if in the context of DISCOVERY, these clips are Pike's memory of "The Cage." Does he, over time, remember past adventures as though they're 60s pulp sci-fi adventures because he himself is a fan of twentieth century TV and science fiction? Is it that the Talosians, due to their mind-altering powers, cast a sheen over any experiences with their involvement that cause memories to be slightly distorted?

I kept waiting for a line of dialogue to address it much in the way DOCTOR WHO in the last Christmas Special used footage of the First Doctor from "The Tenth Planet" and had a shot of William Hartnell morph into David Bradley as the First Doctor with the Twelfth Doctor commenting, "You're in mid-regeneration, aren't you? Your face -- it's all over the place," explaining the new actor's appearance.

But DISCOVERY declined to do this. Instead, DISCOVERY flash-cut from Jeffrey Hunter's Pike to Anson Mount's Pike and simply asked us to accept that this is a new actor playing the old character. When Michael explores Talos IV, she finds the same singing flowers that Spock did in "The Cage," but the flowers are not blue cardboard on straws seen through a fuzzy cathode ray tube; they look like real flowers made as props, animated with computer generated imagery and presented for a high definition format. In essence, DISCOVERY is wordlessly asking to accept that just as the role of Pike is being played by another actor, the roles of visual effects artists, model builders, costumers, cinematographers, set designers and such are also being played by others -- and asking if we could go along with it.

322 (edited by Grizzlor 2019-03-12 00:06:36)

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I really don't have a problem with recasting, although I will admit Mount is a doppelganger for Hunter, while Peck/Nimoy and Melissa George/Susan Olliver look nothing alike, ha ha.  Peck's Spock is okay, but like Frain's Sarek, neither are very good at emulating who they are replacing.  However, Ms. Kirschner is very good at Amanda, looks and acts like Jane Wyatt.  That said, it's tough to "emulate" Nimoy or Mark Lenard, as they're sort of actors who were raised and trained in a bye-gone era.

I've given up being furious about continuity changes, although I still HATE the new alien makeup they use on this show.  My issue with the JJ Abrams stuff was that it was BAD.  This show is at least compelling with a TNG-level overload of science.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

Initially, I wondered if in the context of DISCOVERY, these clips are Pike's memory of "The Cage." Does he, over time, remember past adventures as though they're 60s pulp sci-fi adventures because he himself is a fan of twentieth century TV and science fiction?

In my opinion, this is now canon and the only explanation I will accept smile

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Grizzlor wrote:

I really don't have a problem with recasting, although I will admit Mount is a doppelganger for Hunter, while Peck/Nimoy and Melissa George/Susan Olliver look nothing alike, ha ha.  Peck's Spock is okay, but like Frain's Sarek, neither are very good at emulating who they are replacing.  However, Ms. Kirschner is very good at Amanda, looks and acts like Jane Wyatt.  That said, it's tough to "emulate" Nimoy or Mark Lenard, as they're sort of actors who were raised and trained in a bye-gone era.

I've given up being furious about continuity changes, although I still HATE the new alien makeup they use on this show.  My issue with the JJ Abrams stuff was that it was BAD.  This show is at least compelling with a TNG-level overload of science.

With the JJ stuff, and even with the earlier Discovery stuff....you can at least pretend this is a different continuity.  When you actually show the older actors and then tell me they're the same person, it ruins the illusion in a much more direct way.

Especially since we saw a "younger" Spock (Nimoy in "The Cage") and a ton of "older" Spock (Nimoy TOS and beyond). And we're supposed to believe that there was a time in between where Spock stopped looking like Leonard Nimoy and started looking like someone else.

This isn't even my main "This show shouldn't be set when it's set" argument.  They could've easily done a Rogue One - type story where they set something during a certain period but focus on (mostly) different characters.  They could've had Michael be raised by another Vulcan and simply reference people like Sarek and Spock and the Enterprise and Pike.  Even if this was simply a "Search for Spock" but never actually showed him (or showed him from afar as a CGI Leonard Nimoy), they could at least pretend that the 60s continuity is happening identically to how it was shown.

But now they've just steered right into it.  It wouldn't surprise me if we got younger versions of Kirk and Uhura and Sulu next season, all ending up working brief stints on the Discovery.

325 (edited by Grizzlor 2019-03-12 12:45:29)

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I agree they could have avoided the Spock/Sarek family, but that's their tie-in with Pike, I guess.  These are fictional characters, so I don't think it's an absolute that they look exactly the same.  However, the portrayal should at least match, and in the little we've seen of Spock/Sarek that hasn't been the case.  I doubt we'll see young Kirk on this show, ha ha, though you never know about some spin-off!  I personally would love to see an Enterprise mini-series starring Anson Mount, he's been THAT good as Pike. 

I also think it's more than a little obvious the red angel is probably Ms. Burnham, ha ha ha.  Hope I'm wrong, but that's the most likely angle.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Grizzlor wrote:

I also think it's more than a little obvious the red angel is probably Ms. Burnham, ha ha ha.  Hope I'm wrong, but that's the most likely angle.

Would that work?  She was able to come back in time to save herself?  I feel like that would be a time anomaly and wouldn't work.

Maybe it's Culber.  It'd make as much sense as him being alive now.


And yeah, I understand that they're fictional characters and that they can be recast, but it's just sorta awkward and something they didn't really need to do.  So far, I haven't noticed any reason why Sarek has to be Sarek and Spock has to be Spock and Pike has to be Pike.  To me, they could've created original characters without having to tiptoe anything.  A friend of me was telling me that it seems like there are only about 5 Vulcans in the universe because Spock and Sarek seem to do so much.\

I mean even if they wanted to do a connection, they could've had it be a relative of Tuvok or even Vorik.  Or someone that isn't from Voyager haha.  Have it be a rival of Sarek's.  Maybe Burnham was a rival of Spock's instead of a sister.  If they want the "ooh, ahh" moments from TOS names, they could still name drop.  And any captain from any ship could've taken over the Discovery.  CBS wanted the name recognition that comes along with casting PIKE and SPOCK and SAREK.

What's strange to me is that they keep reaching back to the TOS era when the people who watched TOS in its original run are all senior citizens now.  You'd think in a time when 80s nostalgia is such a big deal that they'd be trying to connect to TNG more.  At least the people who watched that on its first run can figure out how to get CBS All Access big_smile

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I think Slider_Quinn21 is right that if DISCOVERY were going to be set entirely in the 23rd century, it would have been best to do it ROGUE ONE style rather than steering straight into TOS.

I think STAR TREK ever since TNG has been little but reverence or deconstruction of TNG. DS9 was an attempt to steer the TNG era into a morally grey area of storytelling, VOY was endless nostalgia for TNG’s format and ENTERPRISE seemed more like a prequel to TNG than TOS. DISCOVERY (and the rebootquels) have been an effort to go back to the original source material and that makes sense with a new team seeking a new take, although it has led to disprepancies and collisions.

However, I liked how “If Memory Serves” used a clip of Spock looking at the singing flowers which were cardboard on painted straws, then later had Michael looking at the same flowers which are now CG augmented props with full animation and floral weight and texture — but both versions of the flower make the same sound effect and we’re asked to consider that they are the same flowers — just seen through a different set of eyes and rendered by a different set of hands.

I understand that to Slider_Quinn21, it’s an inconsistency, but I have never found TOS particularly coherent. In the early episodes, the Enterprise has only one transporter and shuttlecraft don’t exist. Spock is a Vulcanian whose race was conquered by humans. Kirk’s middle initial is R and he works for the United Earth Space Probe Agency / Spacefleet / Space Central / Star Service and the show is set in the 22nd or 28th century. Sometimes, the crew use what look like replicators/food slots, but then there's a cooking staff. Redshirts who get killed off in one episode turn up alive in the next. Time travel is a highly unusual, never-encountered-phenomenon except when the Enterprise routinely goes back in time to observe historical events.

With all that, DISCOVERY showing the Enterprise with more lights and windows and Pike’s uniform having more seams and Klingons having different makeup barely even registers to me.

I only watched TOS in the 90s and 2000s and seeing it alongside TNG, I didn’t see TOS as a documentary or a depiction of a future century that the show couldn’t even number consistently. I saw it as a vivid form of stage theatre adapted to the TV production model with the costumes, sets and effects as an artist’s impressionistic renderings rather than objective reality.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

I only watched TOS in the 90s and 2000s and seeing it alongside TNG, I didn’t see TOS as a documentary or a depiction of a future century that the show couldn’t even number consistently. I saw it as a vivid form of stage theatre adapted to the TV production model with the costumes, sets and effects as an artist’s impressionistic renderings rather than objective reality.

Yeah, I think this is sorta my point.  Is there really a hunger out there to see more TOS?  My first Trek was TNG as well.  I'd think most people in the key demographic are the same way.  This isn't hunger for more Luke and Han and Chewbacca, whose adventures carried on into the 80s.  I know the TOS movies went into the 90s, but all the aesthetics that they're dealing with are from the show, not the movies.  Otherwise, we'd have the Discovery crew in the red uniforms.

Come to think of it, that era is probably way more ripe for new stories than the one they're currently in.

Did a lot of kids in the 70s and 80s grow up watching TOS reruns?  Even as a Sci-Fi kid, I never really liked the old series - it didn't age particularly well, even during my childhood.  I get wanted to reboot and start over, but is there really a deep hunger from fans to see more adventures of Kirk and Spock?  Did the rebootquels do well because of Kirk and Spock, or were they successful because they told a fun, new Star Trek story?  If JJ and Co. had written the same sort of story about new characters, would those movies had bombed?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

STAR TREK was a failure in its original airing, hence the budget getting slashed each season. It was TREK's endless syndication in the 70s and 80s that created the massive audience and turned Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura and Chekov into cultural icons. Despite TOS not aging well, they are the most identifiable, recognizable characters in STAR TREK and any new STAR TREK team will engage with the original as a starting point. Any nostalgia would be for them.

I think TNG (really Berman and Braga) stuck around for so long with DS9 and VOY and ENTERPRISE and the movies that there hasn't been enough of an absence for nostalgia to set in. Even now, we have THE ORVILLE.

TOS and TNG are very difficult to mesh which is why the TNG/VOY/ENT stewards kept a lengthy distance from TOS. TOS is a highly technical form of televised stage theatre. TNG was syndicated television. TOS was about drama; TNG was a more technically oriented show, fascinated by Data's mechanics and the functions of the warp engines, and this emphasis on engineering continued to the technobabble-oriented VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE.

With this came the attempt to make the STAR TREK universe a consistent, coherent universe with each episode a window into this coherent fictional setting. TNG had reference books, technical manuals and blueprints released while the show was on the air and used as reference by the creators.

Now, objectively, TNG is just as riddled with inconsistencies as TOS. Data's said to never age only to later mention an aging program; the Enterprise-D's battle readiness varies from week to week; holodeck matter is carried into the hallways except when it can't; Data's cat switches genders.

But TNG's gadget and engine focused dialogue indicated that presenting a consistent, self-referential universe with an exploration of the ship and android's inner workings mattered to this show, and it laid the groundwork for the continuity-concerned television we have today.

TOS wasn't like that. TOS wasn't concerned with continuity or even 'realism'; I don't think the Enterprise looked like a real place even to a 60s audience. It was a vivid, pop art representation telling stories that were a landscape of interpretative vision instead of TNG's (supposedly) rigid, reference-book equipped fictional universe.

TOS was stage theatre on TV and there are always going to be issues when a now self-referential vision of TREK that comes with guidebooks and schematics and a Wikia engages with the original TREK which had Lieutenant Leslie eaten by a cloud monster only to turn up alive next week.

It could be (facetiously) argued that TOS is at fault, not DISCOVERY. TOS is the show that had no concern for building plausible environments in its sets. It's TOS that didn't care about ongoing world-building and week to week consistency. DISCOVERY is valiantly trying to bring continuity to an era that never had very much.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah, that all makes sense.  I guess I just don't have much nostalgia for TOS or much of the old series.  I'm much more interested in going forward than continuing to stay in "the past." 

I'm the same way about Star Wars.  They seem obsessed with the same 90 or so years of history, when I'd be much more interested in seeing many other time periods.  In fact, part of the reason I didn't love The Force Awakens was it's seeming obsession with simply recreating the past in the future, when I saw much more possibilities for something new and different.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

One last thing on Section 31 before I retire this argument.

Did the writers on Discovery even watch the S31 episodes from Deep Space Nine?  Or did someone give them a brief summary, and they ran with it?  I don't know if the Enterprise episodes broke the organization like these episodes are, but this just seems completely lazy.  Just like with some of the other stuff, they could've easily created a separate dark ops department that they could've played around with.  But they wanted the buzzword.

Essentially, everyone on Deep Space Nine looks like an idiot for not knowing about Section 31.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Grizzlor wrote:

I also think it's more than a little obvious the red angel is probably Ms. Burnham, ha ha ha.  Hope I'm wrong, but that's the most likely angle.

Correct.  Although, again, I'm not sure how it's possible to use time travel to save yourself.  Their little gambit in the last episode....maybe....because they're actively working to change the timeline.  But if Michael was going to die as a kid, how could she grow up to be the Red Angel and save herself as a child?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

So it wasn't Michael but Michael's mom.  Pretty cool twist, and I thought Sonja Sohn (from the great series The Wire) was cast perfectly as Michael's mom. 

The time travel stuff is intriguing, and I sorta like the idea of a crazy AI taking over a too-computer-dependent Starfleet.  It might go towards explaining why there's so little AI in the universe, but since this is a prequel, it's hard to take the whole "destroying all sentient life" threat seriously.  The good and bad of doing a prequel, I guess.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Potential SPOILERS

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There's speculation that Control/Leland is an origin of the Borg.  Which....meh.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

According to VOYAGER, the Borg have been active since at least 1484, which means their history must begin even earlier. The TOS era cannot be their origin... although we are talking about a show where Section 31 is a recognized branch of Starfleet in the chain of command instead of a rogue organization unacknowledged by all.

I think DISCOVERY's writers are perfectly aware of the contradictions and decided that the name Section 31 had more weight than Starfleet Intelligence. For better or worse, DISCOVERY got locked into a prequel setting and then decided to introduce contradictions (Klingons looking different, holographic communications, different uniforms, a Starfleet mutineer, Spock having a sister) and then offer an explanation later. The explanations have either been adequate, clumsy or non-existent.

There's no real explanation for the Klingons except the makeup has been toned down a bit and it's possible that the altered Klingons of ENT and TOS were only a small subset of all Klingons. Holographic communications and uniforms have been explained as tech and uniforms being tested on different ships before being distributed across the fleet. Michael's record was expunged so that Spock could say in TOS that there was no record of any Starfleet mutiny. Michael is a source of trauma for Spock so he never discussed her.

And Section 31... well, there will be an explanation but it may be as unconvincing as using clips of "The Cage" in a DISCOVERY episode and wordlessly asking the audience to accept 1966 designs and production as impressionistic memories from an era of television that was more impressionistic and didn't attempt the illusion of objectivity.

The explanation is likely going to be some sort of massive mindwipe at some point along with Control's AI erasing itself and its records from all Starfleet systems, possibly an extension of the memory tech that Section 31 tried to use on Spock or a Talosian using their telepathy.

I wish they had just not called this branch in DISCOVERY Section 31. They could have just called in Starfleet Intelligence and hinted that agents might or might not be 31, but I suspect another reason for the prominence of the name -- they want to set up the title of their new SECTION 31 series.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

So I watched the most recent episode which features a vision that Pike has of his eventual fate.  I thought they did a pretty great job of recreating the scene that we were told about in The Menagerie, and I thought they did a fairly faithful representation of Pike's life support chamber.

But then I started thinking about the Talos IV recreation.  How they updated the flowers and the Talosians.  How we need to imagine that everything looks the same as it did in the 60s TV show.  And while we usually do a better job of picking apart the aesthetics of TOS, should we be doing the same for TNG?  When we get angry about the technological inconsistencies in Discovery, should we, instead, be retroactively adding those technologies to TNG/DS9/VOY?

The holographic communication makes sense.  It would be a better way of communicating with someone, and it feels like a natural progression of our technology.  If there were truly any issues with it, it would've been fixed in the 100 years between Discovery and the Dominion War.  So when Picard and Sisko and Janeway communicate with viewscreens and PADDs, maybe they were actually communicating on even more advanced holographic communications.  Maybe the Enterprise D was flashier with advanced screens and flashier uniforms.

Maybe the Klingons always looked like this?  Nah...the Klingon stuff still doesn't make any sense.

If we need to look at the 60s episodes with updated 2019 eyes, maybe we should be doing the same with the later sequel series.  It actually kinda makes it exciting.  Each Trek series takes place with their own technology as their lens.  TOS, despite being 200 years in the future, has technology that is laughably behind some of our own technology.  In the same way, some of our technology puts TNG's technology to shame.  So if we're projecting another 30 years to the Trek mythos, how advanced would the Enterprise-D be with another 100 years of advancements?  It's the kind of thing that makes Trek great and how Trek has helped our own technology grow and advance.

At the same time, someone (I think TF) once said that the Trek timeline is a weird version of our own timeline.  The TOS era was the 60s.  The TNG era was the 80s.  If Discovery had been set 100 years after the Dominion War, it could've been our time.  But maybe a new projection makes just as much sense.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

STAR TREK in the 60s was not concerned with continuity. It was an impressionistic stageplay made for TV. The movies and TNG were trying to step into a more convincing reality in the style of STAR WARS, but even then, the films were riddled with stylistic discrepancies. We somehow went from touchscreens in STAR TREK V (and its redressed TNG sets) to dials and buttons again in STAR TREK VI. Data went from emotional in Seasons 1 - 2 to emotionless in the third year. His male cat later got pregnant. DS9 somehow had the Defiant carrying out the same battle maneuvers against the same ships in multiple episodes (because the creators reused previously aired special effects footage in 'new' battle sequences). VOY had the ship magically repaired every week despite the lack of resources.

However... DISCOVERY is the first STAR TREK show to be garishly impossible to ignore in its inconsistencies, actively flaunting how its visual style is a mismatch for the era in which it's set. It's actively hostile towards the fans in this respect in Season 1. Only with Season 2 did it start layering in visual references to the original series by presenting the same uniforms and flowers and ships in a made-for-HD design, but even then, it's still jarring. DISCOVERY calls attention to discrepancies whereas the other shows made these mismatches incidentally.

Fuller wanted DISCOVERY to have a look reminiscent of "The Cage" with the same colours but modern materials, but after CBS drove him away, they mandated a completely new design for the sets and uniforms and it all spiraled from there.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I was a bit busy last week so only caught up with the last two episodes of THE ORVILLE this week. "Sanctuary" was great, taking on a THE NEXT GENERATION type moral conundrum of diplomatic crisis but unlike TNG, "Sanctuary" didn't resolve the entire situation and relieve everyone of their prejudices, instead choosing a resolution that was tentative, compromised and simply an awkward first step towards peace. I really liked that and it was a wonderful correction on TNG's easy moral softballs.

And the episode of Kelly's past self being transported to the present was great. It was interesting to see the episode as a slightly grim reflection on Adrianne Palicki's career. If you strip away Palicki's glamour and profile, ignore the fact that she turns heads at every red carpet event and has retained her face and figure after 16 years and has had notable credits in numerous franchises (SMALLVILLE, GI JOE, SUPERNATURAL, WONDER WOMAN, AGENTS OF SHIELD), Palicki's career is defined largely by failure.

She was the first Supergirl on SMALLVILLE and dismissed after one episode. Her WONDER WOMAN pilot was a trainwreck. She was a corpse on SUPERNATURAL. GI JOE was an underperforming mediocrity and it was the second one in a row for the franchise. She made a much-heralded entrance on SHIELD and proved so popular with the studio that they shifted her character into a leading role for a spinoff and the network passed.

What it comes down to is that it sucks to be a woman in Hollywood because any man as pretty as Palicki and half as talented would have had at least Jerry O'Connell's number of leading roles. Palicki is a leading-class performer: she commands the screen and can carry and share a scene. The only performer with whom she's ever failed to create meaningful chemistry of some sort is Tom Welling. She's commanding and forceful but with a hint of goofiness for Kelly and as Mockingbird on AGENTS OF SHIELD, she played a seemingly invincible character with the cheerful heartlessness of a veteran spy that could be scary.

She's beautiful, but more importantly, she has the physicality to perform in fight scenes and convey astonishing ferocity and ability and when a stunt performer steps in, Palicki can still sell the stunt as her character. And there's a note of reality when Kelly from the past remarks that she is not in a leading role but a subordinate one, has done noteworthy jobs but achieved no overwhelming successes, and she has fallen short of her goals and dreams.

It's at this point that Wil Wheaton would probably say that the majority of performers go their entire careers without having ever played Supergirl or Wonder Woman or a GI Joe or an agent of SHIELD or a starship commander (if not captain) and many performers certainly don't make a living from their craft. Palicki has always found work, and even if the work hasn't made her Angelina Jolie, there is more to life than just one's professional career. While some people achieve overwhelming success in one life-defining area, for Kelly, it's been smaller achievements across a range that add up to a satisfying life. Kelly may not be the captain, but she is a leader, she runs the Orville well, she's made a difference and not everyone needs to be a star to be special.

The ending was disturbing.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah I'm very surprised at the ending.  It's just really impressive that the Orville is willing to take chances like that - I realize that it's essentially a 2-part finale, and there's a chance that it'll be just as generic TNG-like Sci-Fi as the Isaac storyline was....but this show is so much more than I thought it would be.  And that's impressive.

I agree about Palicki, though.  I thought the best part of her performance was how convincing she was as younger Kelly.  They felt like two sides of the same coin - the same but very different.  I actually bought for a few minutes that she might play two characters on the show going forward.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I didn't want to tack my Discovery thoughts to the back of that, but I had to talk about it.

Sigh.....

So in the end, the writers had nothing.  After getting boxed into a prequel by Brian Fuller, I think the writers realized that they were in trouble.  That they'd gone too far with the prequel changes, and that they didn't have the answers they always promised they did.  To simply write off all the stuff they did with some Starfleet regulation saying "NONE OF THIS HAPPENED OFFICIALLY OR TREASON" is just insane to me.  It's the Trek version of "a wizard did it."

I give them credit for at least doing that.  Or, really, do I?  Is this better than just assuming Spock talked about Michael before and we just never heard it?  That maybe spore drives are everywhere and we just don't know them (maybe Starfleet has a bunch of Discovery-class ships)?  That maybe Michael was eventually pardoned so it wasn't technically a mutiny?

From the limited number of interviews I read after watching the finale, they're going to the future.  Based on the Short Treks (which I was impressed because they had a decent impact on the plot), they'll be about 900-1000 years in the future.  It might be a bit too far in the future to follow the technology curve, but it's better than nothing.  There won't be any more burdens of previous continuity or bringing on someone like Scotty or Kirk.

They can doing their own thing.  Chart their own course.  I think it'll be really good - because I really do think it's a very enjoyable show.  It wouldn't take more than a few cosmetic changes to fix their prequel problems, and if they did that, I think it's easily up there with DS9 as far as quality goes.

I just thought their way of ripping off the bandage was so lazy.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

It is bizarre to me that THE ORVILLE has made so little of Isaac after his betrayal and how there haven't been any storylines where the crew struggles to trust him again. They also aren't featuring Isaac that much at all; he's barely appeared, he has no character arc when he does appear -- it's almost as though a 14 episode order proved inadequate to fully explore the issue, so rather than show everyone cool with someone plotting their murders sitting at the next workstation, they're just not showing much of the relationships or lack thereof and hoping to address it next year. Maybe a subsequent episode will have Ed talking about how he issued orders that nobody discuss Isaac's betrayal and pretend all is well because he's an asset and how the crew is starting to crack under the strain.

**

I liked the DISCOVERY finale. I thought it was great. I loved the whole season, from Pike discovering his future and choosing to accept it to Tilly's reunion with the Queen and the Michael/Spock conflict and the whole AI plot. The only thing that really bothered me was Section 31.

Regarding continuity: I completely accepted the DISCOVERY version of the Enterprise and I liked how, the way it was presented, it's either a different artistic rendering of the ship we first saw in the 1960s -- or it's a few refits away from the pastel-and-painted-wood aesthetic that will come into style in the subsequent decade. They had the orange-red lining, the gratings in the hallways, the changeable lighting to indicate that it could resemble the pop art look of the original series if a later remodelling made it so.

During my obsession with menswear last year, I noticed how men's suits started out as very large, intricate, busy formalwear for royalty but mass production required simplifying the design and making the clothes large enough to fit multiple body shapes while draping over the body properly. In the 80s, there was a brief burst of popularity for suits that were more tightly fitted, but by the 90s - 2000s, we'd gone back to suits that were like coats compared to the tighter, closer-to-body shapes today. Pierce Brosnan's Bond suit was an outer layer of wool padding. Now the pendulum has swung to Daniel Craig's suits being cut to fit him like a second skin. "The Cage" could have happened during a pastel-popular period only for the shift to metal and lights which was briefly supplanted by a period of retro popularity the way art-deco comes and goes.

Obviously, the onscreen intention is that it's a rendering of the same ship with modern techniques. They've kept the original grating and the shape of the nacelles and the key colour lines but used 3D printing and metal composites instead of plywood and paint. But the door is open to the more literal view of the 23rd century that TNG, DS9 and ENT took when using 60s-style TOS designs.

Another idea reminiscent of my suggestion that Pike is a fan of 1960s sci-fi and remembers all his past adventures as low-budget NBC shows of the era: it's possible that the pop-art and pastels look was a popular visual style for rendering the 23rd century in records and art even if the reality was that it changed around a lot from "The Cage" to DISCOVERY to TOS to the movies.

I don't see why DISCOVERY couldn't have continued to be set in the 23rd century. I didn't take any issue with DISCOVERY trying to fit into the TOS period except that the Enterprise's uniforms should have been used on DISCOVERY from the outset. According to the costume designer, she made multiple versions of the gold/red/blue tunics and all were rejected by CBS as not fitting the aesthetic of the Discovery set (and I assume Fuller wasn't there to fight for it). Costuming them attempted a variant on the ENTERPRISE costumes and that was approved. Later, a fourth variation on her gold/red/blue costumes were approved for Season 2.

I wouldn't say they had "nothing" because I don't even think there was a continuity problem with Michael never being mentioned in TOS. I'm not entirely sure why Alex Kurtzman felt the need to explain it. The explanation has always been there.

In "I, Mudd," there's a scene where Dr. McCoy tells Spock he's suspicious of a new crewman who never smiles, whose conversation never varies from discussing his job, who won't discuss his background -- and Spock regards McCoy silently as McCoy realizes that describes Spock as well.

In "Journey to Babel," the Vulcan ambassador and his wife come aboard the Enterprise, Spock and Kirk greet them and Kirk says Spock will take them on a tour of the ship. The ambassador coldly asks that someone else be their tour guide and starts walking away without a word with his wife behind him.

Kirk, confused, sets it aside for a moment and asks Spock if he'd like to take some time to visit Vulcan and see his parents. Spock reluctantly replies that the ambassador is his father and the ambassador's wife is his mother. Spock is so recalcitrant he wouldn't acknowledge his own dad until forced to do so. Later in the episode, Spock's mother, Amanda, is telling the crew what Spock was like as a child, but then Ambassador Sarek abruptly interrupts the conversation and rudely escorts Amanda away. In private, Sarek quietly asks Amanda to never embarrass Spock (with the quiet undertone that he can't actually make her do anything). Vulcans are notably uncommunicative about personal matters.

Honestly, what really jumped out at me as bizarre was Tyler being "assigned" to Section 31 as its new leader -- what the hell is that? Section 31 is a secret cabal of black-ops agents who either manipulate actual Starfleet officers or win their loyalty based on the belief that eliminating threats to the paradise of the Federation can justify assassination, sabotage and collaborating with villains.

The TrekBBS forum has like 30 - 40 posters who defend this with ranting on about how in DS9, Sloan merely said that Section 31 was covert, not that it wasn't part of Starfleet, and that he never declared 31 outside the chain of command, but their literalism over the specific dialogue misses the obvious authorial intent that 31 is a rogue nation, an unofficial arrangement and a secret guarded through silence.

Anyway. I'm eager to see how DISCOVERY fares now that it can use the multiple-era format that Bryan Fuller envisioned for the show.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I don't disagree with any of your points.  I agree that Spock never spoke much about his childhood or family.  That he was appropriately guarded.  That, because of this, he could've had a sister that he loved very much.  I can buy that.

The Section 31 stuff is bad, but I still have a problem with the Spore Drive.  They've revolutionized space travel, and everyone's just going to forget about it?  No one is going to research it again?  The Klingons don't care?  The Romulans?  Hell, Section 31 wouldn't want to recreate it?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

The spore drive is something that would have bothered me before, but at this point, we've had transwarp beaming and resurrection blood in the Kelvin timeline suppressed and for some reason, Federation ships never have cloaking devices except the Defiant. It's possible that the spore drive is in development but the technology isn't widely used or restricted to secret levels of application. Transwarp beaming could be a security nightmare, harvesting blood from frozen superhumans could be a restriction based on consent and I guess it doesn't really register to me as a problem. I don't disagree that it is one; I've just become deeply desensitized to this sort of thing.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah maybe we can buy that Stammets had some sort of unique ability to control it, and only he can do it.  I can see a thousand reasons why Starfleet might stop working on it.  But there are a ton of species that wouldn't have a problem killing thousands of people to get a working spore drive.

I mean it is what it is.  If I can accept all the other changes, I can accept that one.  It's just maddening to completely re-write the rules of space travel in a prequel and then just say no one replicated it for hundreds of years.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I'm quite a fan of Sherlock Holmes and my favourite Sherlock Holmes series is THE BOY SHERLOCK, a prequel series by writer Shane Peacock about a 13-year-old Sherlock. He's poor, starving, lonely, scraping by in the gutter, a far cry from the gentleman detective presented in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. In the first book, young Sherlock expects a short and lonely life in London, but when he's falsely accused of murder and on the run as a fugitive, he has no choice but to apply his intellect to clear his own name and then discovers he has a gift for being a detective. As the series progresses, he develops a close relationship with Irene Adler, a young charity worker. He becomes a reluctant frenemy with a street gang leader called Malefactor who leads a group of child criminals called the Irregulars.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, Irene Adler was an American opera singer whom the adult Sherlock Holmes faced off against once in "A Scandal in Bohemia." Malefactor is a term Holmes once used to describe the criminal mastermind Moriarty, whom Holmes is shown to meet only as an adult in "The Final Problem." The Baker Street Irregulars are a term Holmes uses to refer to homeless children whom he employed as spies.

It was unclear how THE BOY SHERLOCK's discrepancies would be reconciled with canon: was Peacock writing an alternate universe? Or was he making use of how the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle are narrated by Holmes' friend Watson who can only relate what Holmes tells him? THE BOY SHERLOCK series relates extremely traumatic experiences that Holmes could have found too painful to share with Watson. The sixth and final book in THE BOY SHERLOCK series, "Becoming Holmes," was in a position where it would have to explain all of this one way or another.

It didn't. "Becoming Holmes" is focused largely on Sherlock solving an extremely personal murder mystery. The continuity issues are not addressed, although Irene does leave for America and Malefactor declares himself Sherlock's mortal enemy. The characterization rang true for a young Sherlock Holmes, but the mismatched details -- they didn't come off as glaring contradictions, the author simply declined to connect the disparate dots, perhaps trying to indicate that life isn't a straight line from prequel to present.

Why will this English version of Irene later present herself as American-born? Why will Holmes deny their childhood friendship in adulthood? How does the street thug Malefactor become the learned Professor Moriarty? Why does Holmes conceal all this from Watson? The reader is left to infer their own answers. "Becoming Holmes" was a good BOY SHERLOCK story, but as the finale, it seemed positioned to bear expectations of tying the continuity together and it didn't even really try. I'm sure Spock has read these books, though, he's a Holmes fan and claims a distant lineage to Arthur Conan Doyle.

There was a point to all this, but I forgot what it was.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I think there's a certain sense that readers/viewers have to have about what they're watching.  I took my wife to see Spider-Man: Homecoming, and she was confused (almost certainly sarcastically) because, to her, Tobey Maguire is Spider-Man.  Tom Holland cannot be Peter Parker if Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker.  We all have to understand that, yes, we all met a man named Peter Parker who developed spider powers who looked like Tobey Maguire.  But now there's another young man named Peter Parker who also developed spider powers who looks like Tom Holland.

So I get that.  Christopher Pike can be played by Jeffrey Hunter or Bruce Greenwood or Anson Mount, and we're supposed to go with the fact that the same man has three faces.  Sherlock Holmes has dozens.

The problem with it is that "The Boy Sherlock" seems like a re-imagining of the Sherlock story.  Just like Gotham High - it's not pretending to be a real prequel.  It's telling Batman stories with the backdrop of a high school.

https://d13ezvd6yrslxm.cloudfront.net/wp/wp-content/images/Gotham-High.jpg

(Note: I have no idea why I picked this as my example since it never happened and I've never seen it, but it felt the most appropriate in my head).

The problem with Discovery is that they went out of their way to tell us that this wasn't the Kelvin universe.  That it wasn't it's own thing.  That it took place in the Star Trek universe.  So I think, when you do that, certain care should be taken to make sure things fit.  And in my opinion, that care wasn't taken.  I like the show a lot.  I just wish they'd either taken that requisite care to make things fit better (new actors and all) or set the show so far in its own future that it could essentially be a reboot.  In the same way that TNG/DS9/VOY is essentially a reboot of TOS with how much things are different.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I'd have to agree that DISCOVERY in the first season made no effort to square its visual representation with the era in which it claimed to exist. Only with the finale showing the Enterprise and Season 2 bringing in TOS elements did the effort come and as much as I liked it, it made DISCOVERY seem apologetically backpedaling.

**

THE BOY SHERLOCK series is an interesting case: it contradicts the Sherlock Holmes stories, but it *only* contradicts them in areas where creator Arthur Conan Doyle contradicted himself. "A Scandal in Bohemia" features Holmes meeting Irene Adler for the first time and is set in 1888. A later story, "The Five Orange Pips," is set in 1887 -- but Holmes refers to having been defeated by Irene in a previous adventure.

"The Final Problem," set in 1891, has Holmes telling Watson about the evil Professor Moriarty and Holmes meeting the Professor for the first time. But "The Valley of Fear," set in 1888 - 1889, has Holmes and Watson discussing Moriarty well in advance.

"The Gloria Scott" claims that Holmes' first case ever was when he was a university student, but this first case is dated 1885 -- except when Holmes and Watson first met in "A Study in Scarlet," Holmes had long graduated from university and the year was 1881.

THE BOY SHERLOCK doesn't match the canon when it comes to Irene and Holmes' first meeting, Moriarty and Holmes' first encounter or Holmes' origin as a detective -- but the information in the stories in these areas is either contradictory or flat out wrong, and I think writer Shane Peacock was using that to his advantage and declaring that the contradictions are there because Sherlock Holmes was burying the demons and traumas of his past.

And I think it *mostly* worked except there came a point when I felt Peacock needed to be overt in explaining the discrepancies. He needed to present the real events between the adult Irene and Holmes, the conflict between the grown Sherlock and the Malefactor-turned-Moriarty -- and Peacock needed to establish whether or not Watson ever knew these truths.

Instead, Peacock ended THE BOY SHERLOCK series when Sherlock was at 17 -- well before the timeline could address these events and 11 years before Holmes and Watson would first meet. Yes, there's over a decade for the BOY SHERLOCK characters to become the Arthur Conan Doyle versions and yes, the reader can imagine how they go from points A to B -- but by ending where he did, Peacock never offered his own answers to questions he raised, and it'll always bother me. DISCOVERY did provide answers.

(A gag order on the name Michael Burnham. Maybe we were better off with the questions?)

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Yeah I'm very surprised at the ending.  It's just really impressive that the Orville is willing to take chances like that - I realize that it's essentially a 2-part finale, and there's a chance that it'll be just as generic TNG-like Sci-Fi as the Isaac storyline was....but this show is so much more than I thought it would be.  And that's impressive.

I agree about Palicki, though.  I thought the best part of her performance was how convincing she was as younger Kelly.  They felt like two sides of the same coin - the same but very different.  I actually bought for a few minutes that she might play two characters on the show going forward.

SPOILERS























I thought the ORVILLE finale was great! I thought it really underlined how Kelly's contributions and victories may be small and low key and not the equivalent of commanding a starship, but they have vital and critical value. The timeline in the finale with the Kaylon having destroyed Earth and biological civilization was very stirring especially in what went unsaid. Kelly says that Ed was the reason the Kaylon failed to take over, and she has no way of realizing that it isn't true. The reason the Kaylon invasion failed: Isaac formed a romantic relationship with Dr. Finn and a father-son relationship with Ty and Marcus. The reason Isaac formed that bond: Kelly encouraged Dr. Finn to date Isaac while being aware of the risks.

Without Kelly to encourage Claire Finn to take a chance on her feelings, Isaac never developed his sympathy for humanity and never switched sides. Kelly's small acts of kindness saved us all and even as she went about setting time right, she had no idea that her kindness and friendship were the missing link.

It is beautiful.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah, I thought it was great too.

I hope the series gets renewed.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Definitely worried about the ratings with this one and how it impacts its chances.  In the end, live viewing, especially on network shows, so often requires such stupid subject matter...  911/hospital/detective stuff.