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Author Topic: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series  (Read 15206 times)

Gary James

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #150 on: 08 February, 2020, 02:29:38 PM »
So I watched the first episode.

Damn. I had expected it to be bad, but even so...

Honestly, I kinda hoped that it would exceed my low expectations for the show. There is so much that warrants criticism that any dissection would likely be longer than the episode's script, and as I'm already getting behind schedule it is probably unwise to invest too much time in kicking this around, so:

1. Killing off a black guy first? Really? Was this script originally written in 1987?
2. Twins. FFS, does nobody read Ronald Knox's rules any more? Not even a justification offered that they used some of the Binars tech to create the androids.
3. Shit always goes down on Mars. We're already deep in clichés, so... not entirely unexpected.
4. The clue in the painting. I was in error when I noted that this could have been written in 1987. Sorry. It would have been more accurate to state that the plot harkens back to Victorian literature. And not the good stuff either...
5. The Matrix Leap. I might scream - I really could, in proper Violet Elizabeth Bott style. That move was overdone ten years ago, and seeing it used in a non-ironic fashion completely breaks any immersion I might have had.

The fact that Picard isn't a raving loon is a disappointment, as I was looking forward to at least that much given the events of All Good Things, but that he hasn't parked his ass squarely in a spaceship by the end of the episode is simply poor writing.

It feels more like a MAD parody than the real thing, which isn't helped by some of the Romulan ears having a distinctly Alfred E. Neuman quality.

There's nothing in this I haven't seen or read before, and for a franchise which has always attempted (even if unsuccessfully) to show New Things, this simply fails on each and every count. There's no attempt to take us places we haven't been, or to give spectacle in lieu of originality.  :(

Professor Bear

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #151 on: 08 February, 2020, 03:19:17 PM »
Don't forget "synths" coming kinda out of nowhere even though my vague recollections of Voyager suggest that it established that holograms were the slave workforce of the Federation and were even disseminating potential rebellion-fomenting material among themselves.  Everyone prefers BSG to Voyager, I guess.

I'm surprised that no-one has any problems with the teen-drama level of the writing, with Picard saying unnecessary qualifiers like "totally" before some words, or the really forced way the new character whose name escapes me calls him JL, which just makes me think of those old interviews with Alan Grant and John Wagner where they talked about how they said the dialogue out loud before locking it in so they knew if it worked or not, as there's a bit where she talks about Picard going on a "rescue the mysterious robot girl mission" that could probably have done with a quick run around a human's lips before it got handed off to some poor actor.  Her exchanges with Picard in general seemed pretty stilted.

Anyway fuck all y'all this is a Star Trek thread so I'm going to nitpick - doesn't the Federation have better prefabs than what looks suspiciously like what must surely be a 400 year-old trailer?  And she lives in a national park?  If that's allowed, why aren't other people living there?  And there were only a few thousand people on Mars?  I mean, it's the closest planet to Earth*, which I am given to understand does not practice population control or any kind of economically-enforced housing scarcity to the extent that its only moon has 50 million people living on it despite its unsuitability for long-term human habitation, I hope someone lost their job for that one etc.


* sometimes, depending on orbits.

Gary James

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #152 on: 08 February, 2020, 04:22:26 PM »
Don't forget "synths" coming kinda out of nowhere even though my vague recollections of Voyager suggest that it established that holograms were the slave workforce of the Federation and were even disseminating potential rebellion-fomenting material among themselves.
Wasn't there one on the bridge of the Enterprise in a film? There have been various characters who looked android in nature, but Trek loves rewriting its own history so there's that to consider.

Everyone prefers BSG to Voyager, I guess.
Ehhh. I had problems with both. BSG not only jumped the shark, it invited the shark over for dinner and one thing led to another...
Voyager, on the other hand, never told its core story. It got close, then chickened out the one time it paid off on its promise. Best episode of the series followed immediately by the worst - far too precious about keeping everything in stasis, to the detriment of the series overall.

The dialogue was terrible all round - this isn't a new thing for a Trek series. There's a quote of Patrick Stewart's from back when TNG was on saying that the dialogue was almost Shakespearean, which - if he meant post-Nahum Tate - then... sure, I'll accept that. A few of the performers are really, really obvious in not giving two shits, but there are some (including Orla Brady) who magnificently rise above the material they are given.

Anyway fuck all y'all this is a Star Trek thread so I'm going to nitpick
:lol:
Hasn't Phil Farrand trademarked that word yet?

And she lives in a national park?  If that's allowed, why aren't other people living there?
Star Trek is a dystopian future dressed in beautiful clothes and festooned with pretty lights. :D

Greg M.

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #153 on: 08 February, 2020, 04:44:52 PM »
Another perilously slow episode, enlivened by a brief fight and... no, that was it. Even weaker than the previous episode, though, as I said at the time, I thought episode 1 was great. As such, I don't agree with some of the previous criticism, but yes, we definitely should have been here - space, that is - by the end of episode 1, halfway through 2 at the latest. I get that it's a series about a very old man, but it shouldn't make you feel like you're stuck behind one in a post office queue. Still perfectly salvageable if they can crank it up a notch, but it's hard to escape the idea that the series believes itself to be much more profound and powerful than it currently seems to be. Time for a bit of fan-appeasement - c'mon, Riker, c'mon, Seven, c'mon Hugh, even - turn up and save this thing.

Greg M.

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #154 on: 08 February, 2020, 05:04:01 PM »
Wait, that was Hugh, wasn't it? Never mind!

TordelBack

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #155 on: 08 February, 2020, 05:16:01 PM »
Sheesh, tough room! 

To address one criticism, I think the ship left Spacedock long long ago on the internal logic of Federation economics and population. There has always been simultaneously a shortage of suitable planets such that interspecies border wars and ethnic cleansing are still a thing, and such a surplus that whole populations can be transplanted at the whim of individual starship captains. Similarly a post-scarcity Earth of unchanging family-owned vineyards, log cabins, hiking Yosemite and gumbo restaurants, but somehow also long lifespans, alien immigration, multiple siblings and a central motivation of personal fulfillment. S'Utopia, dig?

Next ya'll be telling me transporters don't make any sense.
« Last Edit: 08 February, 2020, 05:19:41 PM by TordelBack »

Professor Bear

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #156 on: 08 February, 2020, 05:36:07 PM »
AND ANOTHER THING how come Picard looks much worse than Admiral McCoy did in Encounter At Farpoint despite being 100 years younger?

IndigoPrime

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #157 on: 08 February, 2020, 06:08:16 PM »
I get that it's a series about a very old man, but it shouldn't make you feel like you're stuck behind one in a post office queue.

Perfect.

Gary James

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #158 on: 08 February, 2020, 06:17:06 PM »
To address one criticism, I think the ship left Spacedock long long ago on the internal logic of Federation economics and population.
That only depends on how you view the comments made in TNG, DS9, and Voyager - Enterprise, being more of a "five minutes in the future" setting than the other shows doesn't count - as some (not all) the comments regarding money being a thing of the past could be taken as... something else. I don't particularly want the characters to be assholes, but it is better than having them flat-out lie to alien cultures they encounter.

I don't remember the exact quote, but one of the crew said something along the lines of "We don't use money any more," which could be a blunt dismissal of everyone on Earth who isn't part of the Federation / Starfleet set-up. Almost the same way that anyone in the Starship Troopers universe not serving in the military (or having previously served) wasn't really a citizen.

Y'know that thing about "You're either a member, or you're a nobody" in gangster films? I always got the feeling that (some) Starfleet members had the same attitude. You can see a teeny, tiny little bit of what I'm getting at in DS9, with Sisko's father. Why do you think the Ferengi were treated as joke characters?
Next ya'll be telling me transporters don't make any sense.
Of course not - Starfleet has the Heisenberg compensators, which is why the transporter beams are such a nice color of blue.
AND ANOTHER THING how come Picard looks much worse than Admiral McCoy did in Encounter At Farpoint despite being 100 years younger?
McCoy was a doctor - he likely had access to the things in the cabinets marked "official use only." :D

von Boom

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #159 on: 08 February, 2020, 06:27:46 PM »
Am alone in finding both Captain Rios and Raffi to be generic cutouts of characters? Both are disgruntled 'outsiders' just looking for a way back in. The fact that one smokes and the other vapes are about the only things that distinguish the two. Both of them are trying so hard to prove that they're edgy and don't care only serve to highlight that both are in fact uptight conformists with smugged faces.

Given the way the dialogue seems to be falling in quality if they have Picard drop an f-bomb for any reason, I'll wash my hands of this series and Star Trek in general.

TordelBack

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #160 on: 08 February, 2020, 06:37:51 PM »
AND ANOTHER THING how come Picard looks much worse than Admiral McCoy did in Encounter At Farpoint despite being 100 years younger?

Flares make everyone look younger.


Professor Bear

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #161 on: 08 February, 2020, 06:55:28 PM »
Kirk docks "space pay" in TOS, so taking this at face value, the Federation likely practices some form of UBI, but if food, medicine, housing, water, transportation, etc is provided by the state, then to the average Federation Joe, they effectively don't have money.

Let's assume that in the Federation, staples and services have a fixed value set by the government in much the same way some communist countries like Vietnam do, and if this set of regulations covers anything being traded, then along with everyone getting the same amount of money, this effectively prevents inflation - but then couple this with the instant gratification of Federation society and most of the citizens likely performing services just to occupy their time or - God forbid - because they enjoy doing it (IE: Risa is a planet where people just fuck all day), it effectively makes any kind of futures exchange or stock market impossible, even though things still have a monetary value.
TLDR version: the Federation has money, but no-one has to use it so they forget it's there.

blackmocco

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #162 on: 08 February, 2020, 07:54:22 PM »
Roddenberry’s idea of a perfect humanity is fine and dandy but I’ve never gotten the impression in all the time I’ve watched Star Trek that just because the starship crew we’re following are paragons of human virtue it means everyone else in this universe is too. Star Trek has shown us plenty of human blue collar workers and top of the food chain Starfleet staff who were knee deep in their vices. From Mudd’s Women all the way up to Insurrection and I’ve never had a problem with that. Picard, Kirk and Janeway are captains aboard deep space exploration starships. As such, it makes sense to me they would be fashioned as idealists and more enlightened people if they’re representing humanity in first contact situations. Their crews would also have been formed with that in mind. It’s not a huge leap to expect that there are still unhappy and unfulfilled people living on Earth, even in a society that has supposedly dumped money for enlightenment. “There are other things men can do,” says Daystrom in The Ultimate Computer but has anyone ever considered there are people in the 23rd century who have no interest in becoming a poet or an artist or a scientist? Some people don’t want to, or are simply not designed to do “other things”.

Greed and the lust for power is such a base human failing that eradicating it will always be something to reach for rather than a reality, even in a fictional 23rd/24th century. It’s a pipe dream, and I suspect Roddenberry knew that even while creating Star Trek. He embodied it in the characters he created but knew he wouldn’t have much of an opportunity for drama if these perfect humans didn’t come up against their less enlightened counterparts, and not all of those counterparts are alien races.
« Last Edit: 08 February, 2020, 07:56:02 PM by blackmocco »
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TordelBack

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #163 on: 08 February, 2020, 08:09:46 PM »
I've always thought the Prof's scheme is how it must work.
But.
The Earth is still finite, Atlantis project notwithstanding, and much of humanity still lives there. Yet the inherited Picard domaine remains, Kirk has a cabin in the woods and keeps horses. Does everyone have these opportunities? Where are they all?

This is not to knock Star Trek: that's just how it is. WhIch is why i think there's little point citing it in regard to Picard.

Gary James

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Re: Patrick Stewart back as Picard in new series
« Reply #164 on: 08 February, 2020, 08:33:08 PM »
It’s a pipe dream, and I suspect Roddenberry knew that even while creating Star Trek.
FWIW he believed it to be possible. Really, in his heart, believed that mankind could outgrow the baser aspects... There was a book out not long after his death (written by a former nun, if I remember it correctly) which goes deeper into his outlooks, and shows that his optimism wasn't merely a put-on.

Yes, the writing was sometimes atrocious (Spock's Brain), but the intent? That was pure.

The franchise has never (IMO) really gotten to the heart of why such a development would happen, as the societal implications are massive - a change as large as that seen in Iain Banks' books, if not bigger. By not addressing that one aspect of the series, many of the installments tend to have problems being placed against a culture which would (and could) send people out to do the jobs the crews do.

Another absent aspect is how the world(s) deal with 85s. Then again, there was a eugenics war, so...  :o

This is not to knock Star Trek: that's just how it is.
There's a qualitative difference between examining what is presented (and discussing where something falls apart) and merely spurning a work as beneath contempt. The audience which Star Trek acquired has always - right from the first mimeographed fanzines in the 60s - had an element of people showing up problems in the scripts. This is not a bad thing. If the writers pay attention to criticism then the next series ought to be better.

The optimism must be rubbing off on me...