Robin Bland

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About Robin Bland

  • Rank
    Prometheus-Class Starship

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  • Location
    New York
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  • Favorite Trek Movie
    The Undiscovered Country
  • Favorite Trek Captain
    Jean-Luc Picard
  • Favorite Trek Series
    The Original Series

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  1. The Klingon Redesign?

    It really isn't - it's a lot more than that. People will always try and find a sense of coherency in fantasies - it's part of the human imagination's agency, to find those patterns and hook their own theories into them, make it a whole tapestry. It's how mass entertainment works, especially nowadays when you have vast fan networks linked by the Internet. And that's a vital difference between the first time the Klingons were redesigned, when there was no Internet, and now - the ability to make immediate visual comparisons brings about a sort of imaginative disconnect. The showrunners stated unequivocally they wanted to attract all the old fanbase. What they're doing, clearly, is trying to have their cake and eat it by also aiming to attract a new fanbase, and the old scenery-chewing Space Viking Klingons wouldn't cut it. But honestly? In my humble opinion, neither do these, especially not when they're trying to do Shakespeare-style dialogue in a fictional language through all those prosthetics. I admire their ambition, but the execution leaves something to be desired. I agree that got stale. I like how the new ones look. They look cool. They behave in more nuanced ways. But they should've been an entirely new, different species - it just would've been easier for fans, new and old, to suspend disbelief. When we get a really good character like L'Rell, played by a really great actor like Mary Chieffo, it seems churlish to not like it as whole. Clearly a hell of a lot of effort has gone into this. However, as a reimagining of a major piece of pop culture, it all amounts to less than the sum of its parts. These new Klingons don't only have an all-new look, but an all-new culture and nuances too. I think it's difficult for fans to even parse them as the same species. I think they're the weakest aspect of Discovery so far, and it isn't just because of how they look. It's because everything about them is so radically different, a little unconvincing and also, L'Rell aside, they're booooooring.
  2. Doctor Who Story Shada Getting The Animated Treatment

    More on the history of this story here:
  3. Episode 1.5 "Choose Your Pain" Discussion Thread

    Oooooooooooooh, I wannit, I wannit, I wannit Everyone's talking about it... it's all over social media.. I can't wait to see how Netflix reports back on its numbers around the world. I mean, they'll be vague (Netflix never publishes viewing figures) but I guess we'll know soon.
  4. Episode 1.5 "Choose Your Pain" Discussion Thread

    @Sehlat Vie I was completely wrong about that. I guess her outfit should've signaled to me that that this was L'Rell. I didn't recognize her! Which is not to do with Mary Chieffo giving it her all - she's pretty amazing. I'm still kind of struggling with the tradeoff between full prosthetics and the nuances the script demands of these characters.
  5. Ex_Machina and other AI Discussion

    That is the ultimate worry... "thinking" but without nuance. The term AI means many things now. But maybe we need AE too. Artificial emotions. The higher ones, anyway.
  6. The Gabriel Lorca Topic (SPOILERS INCLUDED)

    I just thought I'd put this here, as we all do seem to appreciate Mr Isaacs quite a bit.
  7. Discovery: a Star Trek For Our Times

    Couldn't agree more. Stripping it away from TNG was perhaps Roddenberry's biggest dramatic mistake, albeit borne from an optimistic outlook. The Klingons on DS9 got pretty tedious, to be sure. The whole "Honor" code became more of a daft behavioral straitjacket than a convincing depiction of an alien culture. I liked that the different "main" aliens on Trek were mirrors of humankind, though, especially the Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans. The new Klingons' behavior feels more realistic to me, but to my mind the actual performances feel reduced simply because of the OTT make-up design. I think it's early days, too. I don't think we've seen anywhere close to their best, yet. I'm really happy to see Star Trek back on TV, and testing the boundaries of what Star Trek is, or can be.
  8. Ex_Machina and other AI Discussion

    Yeah! What's most frightening about is that I actually can't imagine the implications as to all other applications. It feels like a major development, but no-one can predict what it's developing into. Although that learning ability isn't actually sentience... self-awareness... is it? ...Yet? [Tails off...]
  9. Ex_Machina and other AI Discussion

    @Sehlat Vie
  10. Doctor Who Story Shada Getting The Animated Treatment

    To my mind, the best 'version' of Shada to date is the talking book performed by Lalla Ward. (Written by Gareth Roberts in a pretty good approximation of Douglas Adams.) The McGann animation was ambitious, well-meaning and welcome, but it didn't really cut the mustard. And yeah, they never really topped those couple of missing episodes of The Invasion in terms of direction and attention to performance detail. That was Cosgrove Hall, a now defunct animation house. IIRC The Ice Warriors and The Moonbase were also among the more successful efforts. But I'm all for seeing the story told as was originally intended - visually - so I'm looking forward to this.
  11. Episode 1.5 "Choose Your Pain" Discussion Thread

    You and me both! It's lovely to be proved wrong like that, though. I'll happily be wrong if it means filmmakers step up to the plate and make something really thoughtful and inspiring. I was worried that we'd get a repeat of the Prometheus/Alien Covenant debacle. if anything, Blade Runner was more vulnerable, as it is (er, was) a single movie. Villeneuve really delivered. We know it's possible, it just takes someone who really understands the spirit of the material and how to contribute a continuation without messing up what's gone before, in terms of cultural status as much as anything else. Head of CBS: "Ron Moore says he's interested." Just imagine... Me too. You've read mine and Corylea's faint worries about Sarek's character continuity remaining contradictory (try saying that fast) and it's aspects like that that I wish we didn't have to deal with. Just strikes me as storytelling wisdom to leave certain bones buried, but I'm not in charge.
  12. Doctor Who Story Shada Getting The Animated Treatment

    Hope you're right. If they keep this up, it looks like we'll get one a year, if they sell. Shada must certainly have been the most difficult - I have the older DVD release (which is a dupe of the VHS one) and there's a lot of material missing from later episodes. IIRC, you have more-or-less two complete episodes, two half-made episodes and two almost completely missing (never made) episodes. That's a lot of scenes to complete. While some of the other, earlier serials probably have more missing episodes, the job of co-ordinating an effort like Shada must've been huge! The Power of the Daleks animation wasn't perfect by any means, but the experience of being able to see (an interpretation of) it was a genuine thrill. I hope they undertake animated completion of stories like The Evil of the Daleks and The Abominable Snowmen next.
  13. Episode 1.5 "Choose Your Pain" Discussion Thread

    Yes, I agree - that's why I said it would take great writing, insight and psychological detail to deliver a portrait of Picard that revealed layers we weren't privy to in TNG. I understand all the implications. It would take someone really willing to dig into that character and deliver something befitting of both actor and character's beloved cultural status. Not an easy task, by any reckoning. It would have to be a writer (or writers) trusted by actor, crew and fans. Like you, I'm not sure it'll happen or if I even want it to - I just aired it as the sort of possibility CBS must be considering, as it has all these very valuable assets. But, like Sehlat Vie, I find the possibility of a more satisfying 'ending' to TNG irristible. Against my better judgement. And I'm sure I'm not alone. On the other hand (and I'm going to contradict myself here as I've muttered about new DS9 too), I really wish that, if CBS were to pursue new TV Star Trek, they'd follow the course of Discovery and chart all-new adventures on a show with all-new characters, albeit in the 24th century, after Voyager. This, essentially!
  14. Yup - me too! I'm really hoping they address it. I actually really like James Frain's take on Sarek, so I'm surmising there's more to this set-up than we yet know. Let's not talk about Sybok...!