Sehlat Vie

Episode 1, 2, “Vulcan Hello”/“Battle at the Binary Stars” discussion thread; spoilers allowed, but with WARNINGS

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This is a total grammatical nitpick (indulge me) - but why, oh why, during the Klingon subtitles, did we get four-dotted ellipses? They're supposed to be three dots: "..." not four. I can't help noticing stuff like that. Don't they have trained copy editors on these shows?

Maybe it's something I should blame on George Lucas, who established the idea of four-dotted ellipses in the opening crawl of Star Wars... :vader:

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6 minutes ago, Rusty0918 said:

I have a feeling that the rest of this arc is going to feature a long path to redemption. We know that somehow Burnham ends up on Discovery, most likely reduced a rank for the crap she pulled, but somehow gets enough leverage so that she doesn't spend the rest of her life rotting away in prison.

It is. She did a LOT wrong, not the least of which was keeping the whole "Vulcan Hello" conversation from her captain. Georgiou could have questioned it and then hashed it out. Maybe it turns out exactly the same, but that's still so much better than,  "Hey, Starfleet captain, we have to start shooting. Not only that, we have to and start shooting before backup arrives."

It's dicey to start with, but plain ludicrous on nothing but Burnam's say so.

 

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Locutus   
24 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

When she was waxing poetic about the universe, exploration, and her Starfleet values? Definitely. I think certain bits of that dialogue were weak to start with and she pushed too hard trying to sell it.

Yeah, I agree.  I think it was bad dialogue.  The writers seemed to try to convey the optimism and spirit of Star Trek through dialogue, when really, that optimism and spirit was always captured more by how the characters behaved and the decisions they made--not by preaching.  That's probably why it seemed forced.

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8 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

It is. She did a LOT wrong, not the least of which was keeping the whole "Vulcan Hello" conversation from her captain. Georgiou could have questioned it and then hashed it out. Maybe it turns out exactly the same, but that's still so much better than,  "Hey, Starfleet captain, we have to start shooting. Not only that, we have to and start shooting before backup arrives."

It's dicey to start with, but plain ludicrous on nothing but Burnam's say so.

 

No way that would've happened under any other command we've been witness to in Star Trek. Not that early in a story, anyway.

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Locutus   
10 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

This is a total grammatical nitpick (indulge me) - but why, oh why, during the Klingon subtitles, did we get four-dotted ellipses? They're supposed to be three dots: "..." not four. I can't help noticing stuff like that. Don't they have trained copy editors on these shows?

Maybe it's something I should blame on George Lucas, who established the idea of four-dotted ellipses in the opening crawl of Star Wars... :vader:

Well, technically, if the ellipse finishes a sentence it has four dots.  The ellipse plus a period.  That's used more when you are editing out a portion of a quote.  I can't recall exactly what dialogue your referring to though, so I assume you're right they messed up ... BIGTIME ....

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3 minutes ago, Locutus said:

Yeah, I agree.  I think it was bad dialogue.  The writers seemed to try to convey the optimism and spirit of Star Trek through dialogue, when really, that optimism and spirit was always captured more by how the characters behaved and the decisions they made--not by preaching.  That's probably why it seemed forced.

I think you're spot-on there. Burnam just has to stop doing that. That optimism is definitely a show less than tell.

2 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

No way that would've happened under any other command we've been witness to in Star Trek. Not that early in a story, anyway.

This isn't "All Good things..." where a captain who doesn't remember which officer is which post and who seems to be having visual and auditory hallucinations convinces the crew to trash their mission to die in a temporal anomaly just because he says so.

Then again, Picard is Picard. Special case. :)

4 minutes ago, Locutus said:

Well, technically, if the ellipse finishes a sentence it has four dots.  The ellipse plus a period.  That's used more when you are editing out a portion of a quote.  I can't recall exactly what dialogue your referring to though, so I assume you're right they messed up ... BIGTIME ....

There. Are. THREE ellipses. ;)

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Just now, Locutus said:

Well, technically, if the ellipse finishes a sentence it has four dots.  The ellipse plus a period.  That's used more when you are editing out a portion of a quote.  I can't recall exactly what dialogue your referring to though, so I assume you're right they messed up ... BIGTIME ....

I haven't watched the ep again so maybe I'm in error. It's usually used to indicate missing words (often in a quote), and also as a pause at the end of broken sentences (in which case it should also be three), which is how i assumed it was used here. It just looked wrong! (I'm so used to it in Star Wars it looks right!)

 

6 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

I think you're spot-on there. Burnam just has to stop doing that. That optimism is definitely a show less than tell.

This isn't "All Good things..." where a captain who doesn't remember which officer is which post and who seems to be having visual and auditory hallucinations convinces the crew to trash their mission to die in a temporal anomaly just because he says so.

:laugh: I should've said "This early in a series." Then again, Picard was a funny bugger from the get-go.

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21 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

This is a total grammatical nitpick (indulge me) - but why, oh why, during the Klingon subtitles, did we get four-dotted ellipses? They're supposed to be three dots: "..." not four. I can't help noticing stuff like that. Don't they have trained copy editors on these shows?

Maybe it's something I should blame on George Lucas, who established the idea of four-dotted ellipses in the opening crawl of Star Wars... :vader:

....hmmm....dunno. :giggle:

(okay, that was me just messing with you....again....:laugh: )

13 minutes ago, Locutus said:

Yeah, I agree.  I think it was bad dialogue.  The writers seemed to try to convey the optimism and spirit of Star Trek through dialogue, when really, that optimism and spirit was always captured more by how the characters behaved and the decisions they made--not by preaching.  That's probably why it seemed forced.

I think (to play Devil’s advocate for a moment) that the dialogue about Starfleet’s ideology and such was a overplayed to remind casual viewers that their universe, despite what we see later on, ISN’T Battlestar Galactica or The Expanse.   It was a reminder that this is a utopia, however bloodied its knuckles get at the end of the episodes.

That said, I think the mission of mercy to the dying aliens in Act One more than conveyed that without hammering it in so hard, but I get why they might’ve felt an editorial need to add a bit more.

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1 minute ago, Sehlat Vie said:

....hmmm....dunno. :giggle:

(okay, that was me just messing with you....again....:laugh: )

...Good grammar and punctuation (he says, loftily) are like good manners. They underpin everything, and are the mortar that hold the bricks of our civilization (and languages) together. :P

 

1 minute ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I think (to play Devil’s advocate for a moment) that the dialogue about Starfleet’s ideology and such was a overplayed to remind casual viewers that their universe, despite what we see later on, ISN’T Battlestar Galactica or The Expanse.   It was a reminder that this is a utopia, however bloodied its knuckles get at the end of the episodes.

That said, I think the mission of mercy to the dying aliens in Act One more than conveyed that without hammering it in so hard, but I get why they might’ve felt an editorial need to add a bit more.

 

I need to watch it again, certainly - you have to get used to new shows and the way the producers and writers are telling their story.

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Locutus   
1 hour ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I think (to play Devil’s advocate for a moment) that the dialogue about Starfleet’s ideology and such was a overplayed to remind casual viewers that their universe, despite what we see later on, ISN’T Battlestar Galactica or The Expanse.   It was a reminder that this is a utopia, however bloodied its knuckles get at the end of the episodes.

That said, I think the mission of mercy to the dying aliens in Act One more than conveyed that without hammering it in so hard, but I get why they might’ve felt an editorial need to add a bit more.

For me, it read as more of a message to Star Trek fans than "casual viewers."  It felt like the writers were trying to say to the fans, "See!  See!  This is still Star Trek!"  ESPECIALLY that ...

 

(SPOILERS)

 

"we are explorers" visit to the brig by the ill-fated crewman.  Star Trek has PLENTY of preachy moments, so it didn't feel completely out of place for a Star Trek fan--perhaps a little more jarring and clunky for casual viewers.

Edited by Locutus

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Hammer   
2 hours ago, Chimera82405 said:

I only got to see the pilot first episode "The Vulcan Hello", and it was a decent scifi episode of something, but it is not Star Trek. It has elements of Star Trek, but might as well be a fan film, based on the material.

The not-Axanar but maybe plotline does explain the lawsuit with them in 2015, 2016, that and they made money off of a copyrighted property at Axanar studio.

The pros: The space effects and vistas are fantastic, movie quality, and look like even an update of the Abrams films. The ship is neat, small, and compact, an Akira/NX hybrid, but with TNG era nacelles, consoles, etc. It might as well be set in 2394.

The cons: 2256, really, a prequel again? Now we know it takes place in the NX timeline, not the prime timeline. In the NX timeline, started when First Contact was changed slightly, (and presumably TNG from 2373 on, when they get back), the TNG light feel is evident.

The Klingons. What were these new 'old scary crypt keeper Klingons? Not interested enough to tune in to find out.

Commander Burnham was a little too anxious to disobey orders and stage an attack?

How does that subspace comm work? It would have to be hyper light speed travel, even faster than trans warp, in order for a real time talk with Sarek. The only way that works is if he is on the fleet approaching, and is not that far off.

Cliffhanger and not aired in all two parts on network TV in the US (where I am), and this gave me no reason to buy up a subscription for one show on the clunky mess that is All Access. (I have friends who have it, and it has a library missing a third of its shows, and it crashes frequently, but am still not going to watch this at their house).  Not going to do it. Going to wait until the bluray comes out.

They ended part one like The Best of Both Worlds/Redemption. Why?

It's not that I was sticking up for the silly Axanar thing, (as they did breach copyright), but that they just wouldn't come our and admit it at CBS that indeed theirs was set in a similar time period. Now we know. It was.

Do not support piracy. Watch it legally. I will not watch it until the bluray.

I suspect it will be cancelled in one season, as people will not flock to All Access. But they can save it. If the chips fall down, then they have to do a marathon for the sweeps in November, release it all on CBS on TV, and show it all, and then everyone gets to see it.

The characters were fine. It is odd though that they seemed to have forgotten Ben Sisko was the first black Star Trek commander. That is odd. Burnham is the second black female commander. The first was in Star Trek IV.

Saratoga captain 'Alexander' does bear a resemblance to Bunrham, in 2286. Could be her daughter. :)

I'm thankful that this is on the Space network in Canada. I ordered that channel from my TV provider specifically so I could watch this show. There's no way I'd get CBS All Access.

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1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

No way that would've happened under any other command we've been witness to in Star Trek. Not that early in a story, anyway.

This is a real bold chance I give them kudos for. And to think this was a Vulcan way of thinking too. Yeah it would be best if she claws her way to redemption rather than let it be handed to her on a silver platter. I know from the preview after "Battle at the Binary Stars" that many seriously look down upon her. Well, anyways, six days until the next episode, and I doubt that Burnham is going to get reinstated by the end of the third episode.

It's interesting also seeing Burnham raised as a Vulcan. That's something also you don't see every day of the week!

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2 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

When she was waxing poetic about the universe, exploration, and her Starfleet values? Definitely. I think certain bits of that dialogue were weak to start with and she pushed too hard trying to sell it.

She's a human raised by vulcans trying hard to imitate / appeal to other humans so it makes sense to me that her dialogue will seem "forced'.

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On something different, how do you all think that the "pay per view" aspect of this is going to play out? I didn't know this was going to be shown on tv. Is that just to hook an audience and then it's gone?

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25 minutes ago, Locutus said:

(SPOILERS)

 

"we are explorers" visit to the brig by the ill-fated crewman.  Star Trek has PLENTY of preachy moments, so it didn't feel completely out of place for a Star Trek fan--perhaps a little more jarring and clunky for casual viewers.

That whole brig sequence worked really well for me, including the poor crewman's death. It gave it a veracity that previous Treks have lacked, perhaps - you got the reports of the deaths on the bridge, but you never witnessed them, not like that. (Not on small screen Trek anyway.)

 

18 minutes ago, Rusty0918 said:

This is a real bold chance I give them kudos for. And to think this was a Vulcan way of thinking too. Yeah it would be best if she claws her way to redemption rather than let it be handed to her on a silver platter. I know from the preview after "Battle at the Binary Stars" that many seriously look down upon her. Well, anyways, six days until the next episode, and I doubt that Burnham is going to get reinstated by the end of the third episode.

It's interesting also seeing Burnham raised as a Vulcan. That's something also you don't see every day of the week!

Definitely. I like the whole idea of her not being entirely comfortable with her human interactions because she was raised on Vulcan. Nurture vs. nature, all in one character. It's very Spock, without necessarily pandering to that classic duality. She acknowledges and lives with her human emotions, so it'll be interesting to see how the writers play this out.

 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Our old pal Katherine Trendacosta at io9 has her review up:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discovery-goes-out-boldly-but-we-still-dont-1818714937

Posted because OMG I agree with her! Some of it, anyway.

Since the opener held my interest even without the ship, I can wait.

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IT wasn't to bad,a few things I got trouble with like the lights of kahless<the Klingons and it just to well advanced for the original and next generation series.

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Hammer   

After sitting in college all day taking notes off the board, the last thing I want to do is read subtitles while I'm relaxing. That's just a small quibble though, can't believe it's been 12 years since we could discuss a new episode of ST.

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Man, Burnham. Remember when people thought her only value to the show would be that she is related to Spock? Turns out she's a rich, complex character who stands very well on her own. They went all in by making her crime so grave that StarFleet gave her a life sentence.

What I love about her crime is that it's one of those tragedies where she (and we) will be forced to replay in her head again and again: What should have been done differently? Exactly when was the critical moment when a different move should have been made? If you really think about it, there is no easy answer. On the surface you can say it's beyond the pale to neck pinch your captain in the middle of a crisis. But the writers took pains to suggest Burnham had good reasons, and that Georgou was not right either. By that point in the conflict, there were no good options anyway. The only person you can say was right was Saru, when he said get out of here very early in the investigation. BUT that may have been the wrong call as well since Tkuvma would have just picked another ship at some point.

This unasnwerable nature of the conflict will haunt Burnham for the rest of her life, especially as the war drags on. It makes her a character of Shakespearean tragic dimensions unlike we have seen on a Trek show.       

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1 hour ago, mr Pointy Ears said:

....the Klingons and it just to well advanced for the original and next generation series.

I thought that too but my thought is that they have to modernize and not set their standards based on 50 years of a franchise. Maybe it doesn't jive with TOS, TNG, and the rest but that's ok. I don't see new fans scrambling to view those any time soon. And if they do then that means they like the franchise to 'forgive' the look. 

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nepr   

Just a few thoughts after watching both episodes on CBS AA.

I don't usually watch "linear" TV along with the masses.  For example, I watched Mad Men by waiting until the end of each season and bingeing.  I really don't like the, "tune in next week", gambit.  I have a high tolerance for spoilers so that's seldom an issue.  But this time I felt the need to support Trek's return and, strange to say, I was, and am still, afraid that signing up and waiting to view wouldn't have been, and won't be, enough, since they will know if I don't actually watch DSC.   I actually considered "watching" with the window behind other windows, but they might know that, too.  When I found myself considering "watching" with the sound on my stereo muted, which surely they couldn't detect, I gave in and watched like one of the masses; which of course I am anyway.   So now I've put myself in the "linear" trap and I really am anxious to "tune in next week."

I knew that, "Vulcan Hello", was 42 minutes long because I checked before watching.  I was pedantically engaged in critically assessing every aspect of the show when, to my surprise, the end credits appeared.  A fast 42, in other words.

For me, Burnham's back-and-forth with the computer in the brig was pure TOS, and done with a delightful wink and nod.  I have to watch it again to analyze it but I thought SM-G brilliantly channeled Kirk-like confidence and guile.

I wonder if Saru is influenced by Larry Niven's Pierson Puppeteers (a crafty bunch)?  Even if so, I doubt the DSC crew would own up to it.

Mild spoilers follow!!!

I read so much about how tight-lipped the DSC folks were being leading up to the debut.  But, really, was there anything in these two episodes that wasn't heavily hinted at in the lead-up?

Also, I think it's becoming clear that Hollywood writers think that the best use of a Starship is to wreck it.  I thought I wrote a post on this forum about why I think this is so but I can't find it.  The gist:  Starships are too big for dog-fighting and no one can tell how majestic they are because they're always in space and too confining for any real action and everyone is always sitting or standing at a desk or a conference table or a console.  They are also too powerful compared to a single-hero so for the sake of drama they have to be wimped out via some hard-high-tech or by being hugely outnumbered or...  But they blow up like buildings.  I fear for the NCC-1031.

End of mild spoilers!!!

And speaking of conference tables...  I think STID had the only sit-down conference in the Kelvin Timeline movies and that one was interrupted by a madman with a Gatling gun.  None so far in DSC.  Someone should tell them that True Trek has true meetings.

The "tune in next week" trailer, on CBS AA, looked different in tone to me when compared to these debuts; and a couple of reviewers who have seen episode 3 (and maybe more, the born-out-of-wedlocks!) have said as much.

And if I write, "debuts", it's because I'm finding myself increasingly annoyed  (but not, "four dots", level annoyed!) by the term, "pilot", when applied to this series which, I recall, was "green-lit" and pretty-much paid for before they even had a script, let alone a leading lady.  The DSC crew wasn't making episodes that they hoped would entice a distributor.  The distributor had already enticed itself.  And don't get me started on, "Utopia", or, "Post Scarcity"!

Will watch again soon!

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6 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Nice review. I especially agree with your points about how DSC is different than Bad Robot movies. To me DSC looks better. The sets are more detailed. Also, pacing. When Burnham takes her spacewalk she ascends slowly up that tube. You see the bridge rotating the axis of the saucer to angle her toward her destination--which was one of many nice touches that shows the crew behaving like a NASA crew, because space work requires many slow, micro-movements just like that. When she leaves the ship, it's this slow, delicate movement of her boots demagnetizing. The way the crew operated the ship through most of the episdoes created a sense of space-realism that TNG never even aspired to.

If it had been a Bad Robot movie, the director would have shot Burnham out of that tube like a torpedo. All those realize grace notes would be left on the cutting room floor. Also, plotting: About as many hours passed in the first two epsiodes as passed in ST09 (after the time jump to Kirk as a cadet) and yet DSC packed in so much more interesting character development.   

I dont see the kelvinverse at all--I see DSC for what it is. And I have no problem imagining it in the Prime timeline. I believe comparisons to the Bad Robot movies will fade quickly. Those movies were what they were--a fun entertainment during Trek's TV hiatus--but that era is probably over. Doubt there will be a fourth. DSC and its spinoffs (if we are lucky) is the future of Trek.       

      

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