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All Things Star Trek

Discussion in 'Arts & Entertainment' started by hobbsyoyo, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    I've watched the three episodes from season three now.

    Two things:

    1) I'm glad I did a re-watch beforehand.

    2) My skepticism has been proven wrong.

    This has been fantastic.
     
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  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yeah, the first 2 seasons are so hectic, I can't remember half the stuff that happened. Can't wait for the next ep. We get them Friday here, so I have to wait an extra day, but that's okay. Makes Fridays better
     
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  3. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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    In personality, Quinto's Spock wasn't Spock; he was Tuvok, always sullenly failing to conceal how annoying he found humans.
     
  4. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Even TOS Spock made it clear at times that he found humans annoying. NuSpock might as well have worn a neon sandwich board proclaiming his loathing for humans (except for his clingy, unprofessional girlfriend with no concept of how to keep duty hours and professional hours distinct). And Tuvok never made out with his girlfriend while on duty (ponn farr doesn't count as anything but a medical necessity).
     
  5. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    A likely story.
     
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  6. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Ponn Farr seems like an excuse the early Trek writers came up with so that they'd have characters to play with who can't possibly fall into romantic storylines.. and when they do, it's an interesting story about the ponn farr curiousity.

    Of course that's since changed and Vulcans be dating. But..
     
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  7. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    "Amok Time" was an attempt to explore Vulcan sexuality and marriage rituals in a culture in which emotion and emotional displays are rigidly suppressed. There's a lot of misunderstanding about how it works, and a lot of misinformation going around.

    There are some well-reasoned essays about this in Best of Trek and Spockanalia (Gene Roddenberry had no objection to either of these fan publications, as Spockanalia was originally published during the first run of the show).

    Unfortunately, D.C. Fontana is dead and no longer able to say to newer writers that they have misunderstood at best, retconned at worst, just because they're too lazy to do some damn research.

    BTW, Spock (Real Spock) had plenty of romantic storylines. The only one that had an egregious mention of ponn farr was in "The Cloud Minders", in a conversation with the vapid character Droxine. Spock was waaay OOC in that episode, and if it hadn't basically been written by committee, it would have turned out a lot better.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    I wish Trek really explored how weird and alien romance probably is among aliens, if they exist. Instead we get romantic rituals modelled around human romantic rituals, every alien species pairs off into male-female pairs, they go on dinner dates, then they rub their between the legs genitals together until babies are made. Occasionally there is a curiousity like a species that mates every 7 years or is overly aggressive during sex. That's the best they can do?

    Where's the creativity? Where's the aliens that mate using genitals on their heads? Where's the romance that does not require genders? Where's the Ferrengi first date involving spider webs?

    Maybe future writers will be more emboldened to explore such topics. Human-centric romance is probably a super tiny part of what's possible when it comes to dating and mating.
     
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  9. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    If memory serves, Andorians have four sexes, and all play some role in procreation (though I have no idea what, since this was something the Enterprise writers came up with and I haven't cared enough to read up about it).

    Also, on Enterprise, Phlox's people each have three of the opposite-sex spouses, and nobody ever gets jealous. There's one episode where one of Phlox's wives made it very clear to Trip that she'd love to have sex with him, and Trip spent the episode trying to avoid that, and figuring out how to confess this to Phlox... whose reaction was, "She wants sex with you? Oh, that's wonderful, go ahead, you'll enjoy it!" and Trip was left with a :dubious: :wow: :hide: reaction, because this is not what he was raised to think of as proper.

    Take a re-watch of the Rura Penthe scenes of Star Trek VI. Or any episode of Voyager that deals with how Ocampans procreate.

    I don't recall the title of the episode offhand, but there's a TNG episode involving genderless aliens (rather preachy one, as Riker falls for one of them who conveniently decides to rebel and out herself as female; at the end of the episode she's gone through "conversion therapy" so is left feeling that the idea of male and female is disgusting). But apparently these genderless aliens do experience romance, though it isn't shown in the episode.

    Tube grubs, which the female chews for the male. Thankfully, Leeta stood her ground with Rom and said she would wear clothes, and she would not chew his food for him. Honestly, there's a whole little story arc about Ferengi romance in DS9.

    Not arguing, but it's a fact that human writers can best imagine what corporeal beings (with physical bodies) do for romance/procreation, since no living human has any experience with being non-corporeal or non-mammalian.

    With the Q, all it took was an exchange of energy between Q and Lady Q, to create Q Junior (played by John DeLancie's son, who did a very good job of playing an arrogant yet somewhat vulnerable teenager on an unwilling visit to "Aunt Kathy" on Voyager).
     
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  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Hey, those are pretty good counter-examples.

    It's just that I quite liked the latest Discovery episode that deals with the Trill and transgender/nonbinary issues. And it made me realize what potential the Trill species had that was never investigated by writers in the past (no doubt because they weren't allowed). It's quite refreshing and makes that whole species feel more alien. I wish they did the same with other Trek species. So many of them are just basically humans with fake mustaches. And yeah, I know that this is due to budgeting issues when the first show came out or what have you, but these days with CGI and much more progressive audiences you should be able to break down some more walls and show us something even more alien than before.

    So yeah, they have been doing a bit of this here and there but I guess it just never grabbed me and seemed like an "aside" rather than a central part of an episode. Although I admit in some of those episodes you mentioned it was the central part of the ep. I guess.. it just seems rather.. plastic? Like they're just putting a bandaid on it instead of really exploring the subject. That's one reason why I liked the recent ep, it felt like they were breaking new ground, and now I'm truly fascinated by this new character and where she'll go.

    I guess another aspect of this.. is that it's just so obvious that most Trek alien races are just humans with fake mustaches on. It's not easy to shake that "sigh, I wish these aliens were more alien" feeling, even when there *are* examples of them doing it right in some episodes, like you pointed out.
     
  11. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Why do you think I read so much fanfiction? Fanfic can go anywhere it wants to go. There are no studio suits or focus groups or advertisers or church groups to please, or publishers who say, "Nope, you can't write that."

    A controversial Star Trek novel used to be one that even hinted of same-sex relationships (which makes me wonder how the Price/Fate of the Phoenix novels ever got published back in the '70s; they were based on slashfic, though of course a lot would have been edited for professional publication).

    Ditto with fan films. There are some that go where no TOS episode dared to go (my own misgivings about the episode in question that is part of the Phase II/New Voyages fan films isn't that Kirk's nephew is gay; I just think it's weird that they rapid-aged Peter, let him serve on his uncle's starship, and I rather doubt that such an unmilitary hairstyle would have flown in TOS; you know something is odd with an episode when you don't care about a character's romantic life; so what if Peter Kirk is gay and has just asked his partner to marry him and Kirk is okay with it, just get a friggin' haircut).


    As for the Trill being part of DiscoTrek, that's yet another retcon. The Trill were considered a relatively unknown species in TNG - Federation members, but Crusher had no idea that they were a joined species. If relations had been constant since the time before TOS, a situation like that of Odan in that TNG episode would have happened decades before, and Crusher would have known how to handle it.

    I think the species they did well at are the Q. These are beings who can be corporeal or non-corporeal as they choose, and their corporeal selves can be literally anything. They exchange energy to reproduce (Janeway was rather shocked at that, as she was imagining something a bit more... physical), yet they're immortal so they don't see much need to reproduce. Therefore, their species is stagnating, and some of them accept that as inevitable and others, like Q, don't. The aspect of the Q that makes them relatable is that they may have evolved physically, but they still have a long way to go with ethics and emotions. They're not as mature as they like to think.

    What I'd like to see with Star Trek is how the non-corporeal species interact with each other. We have the Q, the Metrons, the Organians, whichever of the Ocampans managed it before the Caretaker stifled their species' progress, and there are numerous others. What concerns would they have, since their existence mostly doesn't depend on anything physical (that we know of)? How would they interact, how would they procreate, or would they even bother? Some novelists have touched on this, but none of the TV shows or movies have.
     
  12. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    Discovery is now several hundred years after TNG. 3188, while TNG takes place from 2364 to 2370.
     
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  13. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Super Moderator

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    I believe it's now actually 3189, since Burnham landed in 3188 and then said that she'd waited a year for Discovery.
     
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  14. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    And nobody on the crew knew about the symbiant - they were surprised about it. And it's not like that was some huge part of Trek lore that nobody knew about the symbiants or something. It would have broken absolutely nothing in the universe if they "got this wrong". I wouldn't have even noticed. And in the end, it seems like they did it right.
     
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  15. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Nobody on which crew? Are you implying that the Great And Perfect Jadzia Dax's legacy was lost between DS9 and whatever the hell year DiscoTrek is in now?

    Awww... *snark*

    I never liked Jadzia, and Ezri was annoying as a Trill.
     
  16. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    You get hangups about the worlds weirdest things. Grumpy about the haircut of a character in a fan film, but down with the ridiculous beehive weave Yeoman Rand was wearing?

    It was my impression that episode of TNG was reduced to non-canon status after DS9 completely rewrote the Trill.

    @warpus One thing that bugged me about the Trill episode was that it seemed to be emblematic of Star Trek's shift from science-fantasy to out and out space opera, with magic puddles and "journey into the mind".
     
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  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Nobody on Discovery's crew. Since they come from a pre-DS9 time they knew of the Trill but not that they have symbiants. So there's no continuity problems or whatever.

    I liked Ezri more than Jadzia, but that's because she was the "getting to know the world" character, which is always fun. Jadzia was the "wise old man" character, which can be fun too, but eh. The new discovery character is more like Ezri, even in looks actually. But there is really no connection between any of this and DS9 in the story.

    I saw some people say they wished that this new Trill was Dax.. but.. that'd be stupid. Glad they didn't do that.

    I don't think anything ever gets "de-canonized" like that. In one TNG episode they showed Klingons being a part of the Federation, and then later magically that was never mentioned again, like it never happened. Yet that original episode remains canon, somehow. Star Trek writers make a lot of continuity "errors" like that it seems, it comes with the territory.

    There is this sort of romantic attachment a lot of people seem to have to this idea that everything on screen has to tie in perfectly with every other Trek episode ever made. That's obviously a bit unrealistic, especially when you insist that all Klingons have the appropriate number of ridges on their heads and/or scrotums. And clearly the writers only care to a certain extent, as they quite open write episodes and then disregard them the next week, such as the Klingons in Federation thing I mentioned, or the Trill thing. Sure, some of these things will be later "explained" using some silly episode, which can often be a fun one... like DS9's episode where they went back in time and saw old Klingons who looked like humans. Completely unnecessary episode, but it was a fun one, so I don't mind it.

    It seems that Discovery is going out of their way to not contradict too many things fans would be upset about. Such as the Trill thing. The best thing they did is travel to the future where they can do whatever they want. I never liked the spore drive, but if it's in the future and nowhere else - cool.

    I would call most Trek sci-fi and not fantasy. I would call magic puddles "fantasy". Star Wars is more like a fantasy show and not sci-fi IMO, and Star Trek is the opposite to me (sci-fi and not fantasy)

    The magic puddle was magic indeed, since the bodies disappeared, or went somewhere else or something. So that's weird, but eh, we've had much stranger lifeforms on Star Trek shows, I don't mind a parasite that can teleport people or whatever it did. Maybe we'll find out more about Trills still as the show evolves. Maybe there's more to them than we thought. But yes, I also found it odd that that happened. It didn't seem necessary and was almost hinting at something. Those scenes with all those tentacles, that could have just been a "Hey this is happening in her mind" sort of thing. But with the bodies actually gone, that raises more questions
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  18. Synsensa

    Synsensa Deity Retired Moderator

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    There's no news about Dax being still alive. Since you aren't interested in Discovery, I'm assuming you're okay with spoilers here. The latest episode said that most joined trill actually died during the Burn, as the joined trill tended to be the ones adventuring and on starships. Tal, the symbiont in Discovery, has only been alive for ~5 lifetimes. I'm not confident on what the trill lifespan is, but I suspect the Tal symbiont wasn't even alive or had yet to be joined in the DS9 era.

    How they displayed it was kinda lame, but it's not actually outside the realm of Star Trek and, more specifically, the trill. DS9 featured a couple wacky episodes where the Dax symbiont induced hallucinations, and consciousness transfer was featured heavily in the DS9 episode where Jadzia needed to relate to her past lives by using her friends as avatars for individual consciousnesses.

    What Discovery does retcon is the suitability of hosts. It was revealed in DS9 that symbionts are capable to be joined with far more people than the state claimed; they just lied to control demand, as there weren't enough symbionts for all possible and qualified hosts. Yet in Discovery's timeline, there aren't enough suitable hosts for all the remaining symbionts, and they have to reluctantly accept the potential of joining symbionts with other species (like humans). That doesn't really parse given previous info, unless something changed about trill suitability in the centuries between.
     
  19. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    What I got out of the Discovery episode is that Trill society is split between conservative factions that do not wish to deviate from the old ways and those more progressive faction(s) that want to consider other species in order to keep the Trill going. It seemed to me that those conservatives were the reason why this obvious solution (i.e. using other species) wasn't explored more beforehand.

    Am I missing something in my analysis? The way I assumed this went down was right after the burn the Trill society looked inward and became a bit more closed off and suspicious of outsiders, the way it happened to Earth. That would have given the conservative factions more ammo to not deviate from the old ways.
     
  20. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Why are you making this assumption? I never said I liked Rand's inverted basket hairdo (there's actually a line of dialogue in one of the fanfic stories I read 30+ years ago when someone asks, "Why is she wearing a basket on her head?" and Rand says, "Because I like wearing a basket on my head.").

    Links to this, please. If this were so, then someone would have mentioned it on TrekBBS (quite a few industry insiders post there). The only episode I know of that the producers have de-canonized is "Threshold". That's the one about Paris breaking the "warp 10 barrier", hyper-evolving into a salamander, kidnapping Janeway, they have salamander babies together, which Chakotay conveniently abandons while Janeway is in Sickbay being turned back into a human.

    No, I'm not kidding. That's what the episode is about. And it's stomach-turning.

    There's nothing wrong with space opera when it's done well. Ben Bova and C.J. Cherryh and many other SF writers do fantastic space opera that's got numerous elements of what is considered "hard science" (astrophysics in Bova's case and genetics, endocrine system, sociology, astrophysics, and economics in Cherryh's case).

    My own personal idea of why the Trill went in a different direction with DS9 is that the producers hired Terry Farrell, and once they picked their drooling jaws up off the floor, they realized that she couldn't act (they hired a friggin' acting coach for her) and, like with Kes/the Ocampa in Voyager, they just started throwing ideas at a dart board and writing episodes around them. So that's why the rules about Trills are different from the TNG episode, they differ during the run of DS9, and then it just got to the ridiculous extreme that she was essentially playing a feminine version of Curzon, who could outfight a platoon of Klingons.

    Not only that, but the actress got quite a swelled head, and once carped in an interview about the storylines given to recurring characters at the expense of the main characters. Ex-cuse me? I found Dax monumentally boring, I don't care about anything she did, and DS9 did the best job of all the Trek series in developing their secondary and tertiary characters. They even had an episode focused on Vic Fontaine, a holographic casino/nightclub owner! (loved it, since I loved James Darren in The Time Tunnel and it was wonderful to see him on DS9).

    That was a first-season TNG idea, and after Roddenberry fired or alienated all the original script writers and editors who developed and wrote some of the first season scripts, the show took a left turn at the planet Albuquerque and a lot of that original stuff was retconned. All you had to do was use "Klingon politics" as an excuse and you could have them say or do anything, no matter if it made sense or not.

    That's why I came to detest Worf. TNG and DS9 became the Worf Show, and I am so thankful they never figured out a way to shoehorn him into Voyager because he would have eaten that show as well.

    Have a look at the posts of MAGolding over at TrekBBS. He's a goldmine of continuity-dissection, since many of his posts are resurrections of his essays on the subject that were published in the pro 'zine Trek and professionally published in The Best of Trek paperbacks in the '70s and '80s (most were published pre-TNG). It's fun nostalgia for me to be able to read his posts over there now and exchange the occasional messages, because my teenage self loved his essays 40 years ago.

    However, he is extremely detail-oriented, his posts are long, and can be a tough slog if you're not into the nitty-gritty details of why certain episodes aren't in the same continuity/timeline as others in the same series (and he's not even talking about time travel or the Mirror Universe). He basically dissected the TOS series to figure out all the minutiae of continuity/discontinuity among the episodes that the rest of us explain away as "error" or "the same actor happened to be available for both roles" and takes an in-universe look at them.

    Therefore, in Mark Andrew Golding's essays (that's the name they're published under), the episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" is in a different universe than all the others because of Kirk's middle initial being "R" instead of "T" (this is something that fans have debated for decades).

    "Trials and Tribble-ations" was a fun episode, and was likely a very special one for David Gerrold, because he finally achieved his dream of guesting on a Star Trek episode (he's in one shot as an older crewman playing with a tribble; back in 1967 he'd written the part of Ensign Freeman as a walk-on/one-line role for himself, but the casting director hired someone else). This episode was made as an homage to TOS, for the 25th or 30th anniversary (I think; don't recall what year it was made, and too lazy to look it up).

    If DiscoTrek is trying not to contradict things, it failed spectacularly, at least in the first and second seasons. In fact, Burnham's entire backstory is a huge retcon that I find spectacularly annoying. If they wanted her raised by Vulcans, they should have used someone other than Sarek as her foster-father. Bad enough that Spock never told anyone about Sybok until the fifth movie and the idiotic notion that Vulcan has "princesses" (I would have bought the idea that Sybok's mother was a Vulcan priestess, because those were already established in TMP, but Vulcan is NOT run by kings or queens or princes or princesses). But we're expected to believe that whoops, Spock also had a foster-sister who was able to join Starfleet - a military organization that TOS-Sarek profoundly disapproved of - and stay chummy with Sarek while Spock joined Starfleet and was basically disowned and shunned for 18 years?

    No. I can't accept that. It shows a blatant disregard for a decades-long story arc that was so carefully established in the first two seasons of TOS, continued in the movies, and concluded in the "reunification" story arc of TNG.

    This is why I maintain that there is no way in hell that DiscoTrek can possibly be in the same universe/continuity as TOS, or even TNG. There is absolutely no way it can ever "mesh seamlessly" with TOS, as the producers claim.

    And don't get me started on spore drives or tardigrades. They were repulsive, stomach-turning things on the nuCosmos series, and I don't need them in my Star Trek.

    What is the Burn? (and no, I don't care about spoilers; I knew the major storylines of Enterprise long before I decided to watch it).

    Gah. It's like warp drive moving at the speed of plot. This is moving to the whims of writers. It was established in TNG that humans aren't suitable long-term hosts for the symbiont, but I guess they retconned human biology as well.

    Lots of Trek species have had the "conservative factions" thing going. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it's ridiculous. Like the "conservative factions" surrounding the teachings of Surak, in Enterprise, for instance, or the nonsense that mind-melds are some new, rebellious and dirty thing among Vulcans.

    That's BS. It was established in TOS that such things were normal in Vulcan society for thousands of years... yet another bit of evidence why Enterprise and TOS don't exist in the same universe.
     

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