Sehlat Vie

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

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Dillkid   

I thought there had always been a Federation/Klingon war before TOS, Picard stated on the TNG episode 'First Contact' the following.

"There is no starship mission more dangerous than that of first contact... centuries ago, disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war..."

If we class ENT's 'Broken Bow' as Earth's first contact with the Klingons, but Michael's mistake being the Federation's first contact with the Klingons (They hadn't  met since ENT times, pre Federation), then couldn't this be the incident that Picard mentioned? 

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18 hours ago, Yorick said:

Critical commentary aside, I'm curious how the running times will trend. Binary Stars clocks in (on Netflix) at 39 minutes. I thought it was a typo at first. This is the one technical aspect that's actually inferior to the 1960s Star Trek! Commercial considerations notwithstanding, egregious on a subscription service (I got to use that NYT word!), at least give us Galactica running times if not Game of Thrones. 

I didn't notice that. That is short. Especially when most other drama shows on other pay-channels clock in at around an hour. 

Sometimes that's a problem - all Netflix's Marvel shows could do with pruning their running times - but certain shows, like GoT, never feel padded. In this case, I'd like to think it depends on the necessities of storytelling in any given episode; that the producers can be more relaxed about running times. But I think you're right - it's probably about accommodating ads.  

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On 9/30/2017 at 9:20 AM, Sehlat Vie said:

This is one of the advantages of the show’s serialized format; you can start with a character who has very rough edges and smooth her out over the course of the show.  

^ I doubt that, but okay...:laugh:

I don’t know why exactly, but it just doesn’t bother me the way it seems to bug others.   But based on observations I’ve read (and a response to my Discovery premiere blog entry about the new Klingons’ infidelity to their originals), I wrote this last night:  https://musingsofamiddleagedgeek.blog/2017/09/29/still-clinging-on-to-the-klingons/

My attempt (however crude and caffeinated) to fully explain my POV on the Klingons. :P

Great potted history of the Klingons. Your arguments are, as ever, logical and sane! I don't actually have an issue with the way these new Klingons look, nor even with the way they've changed since 1965 - I have an issue with the explanation for them. We're told they're a breakaway group, yes, one who worship and revere more ancient Klingon lore than we've seen before - that's why they look different. But when we're presented with the other houses - some of whom could reasonably be expected to look like Klingons as featured in Enterprise - none do. There's not even a tip of the hat to that, that Klingons actually do have a broad cultural spectrum that accommodates very different looks for their species... so the scene seems to belie the showrunners' explanations. It also runs counter to all that careful In-universe explaining done on other Trek shows. 

I'm playing devil's advocate a little, because I never really cared much about the Klingons changing looks or cultural and species characteristics in the past, but on this occasion, the showrunners themselves actively drew attention to it with that single scene, which in turn did have the effect of marring my emotional immersion in the story. Which has never happened before on any other Trek show or movie. So it's a weird dichotomy - they ask for our suspension of disbelief, but then spotlight reasons why it's difficult to do. I'd just have avoided showing the other houses in such detail, but hell, I'm taking the showrunners at their word that perhaps there'll be later explanations for all this stuff. I suspect there won't, and it won't ruin the show for me, but I do understand why it peeves people. Just say you changed the look of the Klingons 'cause you wanted to; stop with the elaborate reasoning. 

I'm reminded of the updated look of the Silurians on Doctor Who - the in-Universe explanation here was that they were a different species of Silurian than those who appeared on the old, classic show. The new prosthetics allowed for a greater interaction between the actors playing humans and the aliens, so the producers had a good in-story reason why the look of those creatures changed. Otherwise, Doctor Who has been extremely careful (and mostly highly successful) with how they've updated old alien designs for the 21st century. They respected the old designs while updating them. If the producers of Discovery had shown another Klingon house in the hologram-comms scene who looked like the Klingons as seen in, say, the DS9-era, they'd have quelled much of the more immediately negative fan reaction out there about this point - and made that whole element play better to fans who do care about linking up those visual details and making sense of them. All it needed was a glimpse. It seems like a weird option to ignore if they truly are "respecting canon." 

 

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Zef'No   

Ok, I’ve seen the first two episodes of Discovery now.

While I didn’t hate it, I can’t really say it was good.

As a pilot it failed terribly. A pilot is supposed to introduce you to the characters and the setting and such, but this didn’t do any of that. The first episode was geared almost exclusively to presenting Burnham. And in that, it doesn’t do badly. Both character and actor seem ok, she doesn’t make me want to reach for the off switch the way Bakula (and Blalock) did and I think she is someone I could follow (I’m not sure the Sarek stuff worked though. It’s going to get very silly if he just randomly pops up every now and then like a fairy godmother).

However, it was all too much Burnham-centric. Ok, she’s the star, but I don’t just want to see one person’s adventures all the time. Star Trek has always worked best as an ensemble series featuring several different characters. This is where Enterprise went wrong; it focussed far too much on the three main characters and everyone else was just there to prop them up. I am worried that Discovery might be going that same way, and this would be unfortunate. Hopefully we’ll get to focus on different characters in subsequent episodes.

The first episodes felt very much like a prologue to the series-proper. And this is not a good way to begin a TV series. If I wasn’t already a Trek fan, I would have lost interested and switched off. Certainly the first episode, I kept thinking “When is it actually going to start?”. It was like watching one big teaser.

It’s like if the whole of Emissary had been about Sisko at Wolf 359… That would not have been a good introduction to Deep Space Nine. It was a brief sequence to establish what we needed to establish, then it moved on. That’s what should have happened here. As it is, it feels like the first two episodes have been wasted and they can’t really afford to do that.

I wasn’t a great fan of Captain Georgiou. Lt Saru was ok, but if he’s constantly going to be “I’m scared, let’s run away” every episode, it’s going to get boring very quickly.

The Klingons didn’t work for me at all. The subtitles were incredibly annoying. Subtitles never work. It’s always been assumed that, when you have non-English speaking characters alone, they’re speaking their own language even though we hear it as English. You have to use your imagination there and accept it as a given. Otherwise it doesn’t work. The drama is lost because you’re concentrating too much on reading the text. It pulls you out of the action. This is probably the main thing they need to be careful of going forward.

It’s particulary bizarre because the Klingon they were speaking sounded authentic.  Someone must have gone to a lot of trouble to translate and work out all that, but it was unnecessary at best. Plus it was largely just the usual Klingon mumbo jumbo we’ve all heard countless times before; honour, battle, death, honour, sword, Kahless, great houses… Practically writes itself.

I won’t get too bogged down in the whole “prequel doesn’t work” mantra because we all knew what it would be like. Obviously the makeup, sets, uniforms, CGI and so on all jar enormously with TOS and you can’t really take it as being before that. I accepted this as a given before I watched it though. It doesn’t bother me that much, although I would prefer the uniforms had more colour variation to maintain interest.

The music was ok, I liked the use of the Alexander Courage theme. The opening credits however were terrible; not at all appropriate. By far the worst credit sequence of any Trek series.

Overall then, the pilot didn’t enthral me, but it wasn’t a complete disaster. It did enough to make me want to see the next episode, but I can’t imagine it maintaining my interest for decades the way I still enjoy TOS, TNG etc. We haven’t seen enough to judge the series as a whole yet. I’m cautiously optimistic it will get better once we actually get on the right ship with the right characters (something that should have happened by the end of the first episode at the absolute latest).

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43 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

But when we're presented with the other houses - some of whom could reasonably be expected to look like Klingons as featured in Enterprise - none do. There's not even a tip of the hat to that, that Klingons actually do have a broad cultural spectrum that accommodates very different looks for their species... so the scene seems to belie the showrunners' explanations. It also runs counter to all that careful In-universe explaining done on other Trek shows. 

^
I’m just going to file that holoconference under “Star Trek Retcon #3,267.”  :laugh:

Right next to the frequent use of holocommunicators a full century before their ‘invention’ in DS9’s “For the Uniform.”  :giggle:

45 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Your arguments are, as ever, logical and sane!

tumblr_n29wfcjQ8v1tre0pho2_250.gif  

I hide it well...years of practice. :P

48 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I'm reminded of the updated look of the Silurians on Doctor Who - the in-Universe explanation here was that they were a different species of Silurian than those who appeared on the old, classic show. The new prosthetics allowed for a greater interaction between the actors playing humans and the aliens, so the producers had a good in-story reason why the look of those creatures changed. Otherwise, Doctor Who has been extremely careful (and mostly highly successful) with how they've updated old alien designs for the 21st century. They respected the old designs while updating them. If the producers of Discovery had shown another Klingon house in the hologram-comms scene who looked like the Klingons as seen in, say, the DS9-era, they'd have quelled much of the more immediately negative fan reaction out there about this point - and made that whole element play better to fans who do care about linking up those visual details and making sense of them. All it needed was a glimpse. It seems like a weird option to ignore if they truly are "respecting canon." 

Well, DW has always been a lot better about explaining in-universe changes than ST has, let’s face it. :laugh:

I was surprised at how effective the Mondasian Cybermen looked.  I was worried they’d be a joke with their “Ralph Kramden as a Spaceman” retro-technology, but they were as chilling as ever.  Their voices and their blank-slate expressions go a long way in overcoming their admittedly clunky look...

54935de955d1450c9ebf0125f540a4091e35406.

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ST has only had limited effectiveness with trying to marry its past’s overall aesthetic with its current look.   But sometimes it does just seem to wave a middle finger to all of it, and go full steam ahead.  A part of me admires that storytelling audacity, but the ST nerd in me also cringes a bit.

But for some reason, the Klingon thing didn’t shake me up as much as it could’ve (or should’ve); maybe it’s because I’m not as passionate a fan of the Klingons as other fans.  More of a Romulans kinda guy; I find their shared history with my favorite aliens (Vulcans) to be more personally interesting than space viking/bikers (and I say that as a former motorcyclist; we motorcyclists can be deeply uninteresting... :laugh: ).

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On 28/09/2017 at 1:39 AM, The Founder said:

Ok ... seeing the more recent reviews ... I am glad that I am not the only one not liking this show. At first I thought it was just me. Well here is my two slips of latinum coming from someone that honestly wanted to like this.

I remember reading all over the internet that this pilot would be better than any of the other shows. I can't say I agree at all. It felt so sloppy, rushed, and seemed more like a youtube short. A "set up" to the show. It didn't feel like an actual pilot ... of any show. Not just Star Trek.

The Pros:

  1. The opening credits are pretty unique. I think ever since VOY - fans have been waiting for the ship fly-bys, but I guess gone are the days of that ...
  2. Updated CGI is always nice.
  3. Michelle Yeoh's Captain Phillipa was a wonderful character. I would rather have followed her adventures than Burnham's.
  4. Doug Jone's Saru is... interesting thus far.
  5. James Frain's Sarek wasn't too shabby.
  6. The Shenzou was a nice looking ship. Kind of reminded me of the Kelvin (interior wise at least).
  7. I found Burnham arguing with the ethics of the computer to be amusing. It reminded me of Kirk outsmarting machines in his day.
  8. Nice nod to the Vulcan society by putting young Burnham in one of those learning pods.
  9. The Klingon albino? That wouldn't happen to be the albino fro DS9? The one Dax, Kang, Kor, Koloth hunt?
  10. The uniforms aren't bad and I can see how they are an evolution of the ENT jumpsuit. I just ... hope there is a transition to TOS uniforms. Even if it's on the last episode. There is a book that explains the TOS uniforms are already around ...

The Cons:

  1. The most obvious: A t.v. show called Star Trek: Discovery and no ship named ... Discovery. In fact, the principal ship does not make an appearance at all. Whose bright idea was that? Imagine not seeing the Enterprise, DS9, or VOY in the pilot episodes ... At the very least - the ship should have appeared at the final battle and saved the survivors of the ship.
  2. Platitudes abounds. This episode talked a great Trek deal but didn't really display it. Between Phillipa arguing Starfleet doesn't fire first to the injured officer lamenting they weren't soldiers but explorers. It felt like that was tacked on to shut up fans that felt the jump to war was a bit ... too soon.
  3. The opening scene ... A captain and first officer go on some mission of mercy to help what appears to be a pre-warp alien species. They just shoot up a well? This was a really sloppy idea for exposition. I understand this scene was to offer us an explanation of what is going on and who they are but it was .... done so poorly. I'm sorry, but I honestly think TNG/DS9/VOY did a better job of introducing us to their respective "worlds" than this show did.
  4. The crew - absolutely no build-up with them. So I didn't care when they started dying one by one. They were all, literally, red shirts.
  5. Holograms ... I get that in this century we will have holograms so it is laughable that it took until DS9 for holograms to be used as a means of communication. But ...
  6. The Klingons ... wow .... they were terrible. I'm sorry, but this isn't a "they look nothing like TOS Klingons" rant. They were just an extremely boring aspect of the episode. The entire thing seemed ... oddly convoluted. This Klingon "Trump" believes the Klingons will lose their purity. Ok - I can stomach that. In Undiscovered Country - the Klingons were scared their way of life would be shattered if they gave into the "homo sapien's only club" of the Federation. And this Klingon's idea of starting a war with the UFP was to lure a Federation ship there and hope a fight would ensue? Also ... 100 years have gone by and the UFP had little to no relations with them? So since ENT they just disappeared?
  7. Now onto my "they look nothing like the TOS Klingons" rant. What happened to "These Klingons look different because, like humans, they don't all look the same." Then cue the leaders of the other Klingon houses .... and they all look like the monster Klingons ... Seriously? I understand people were tired of space vikings. Fine. But .... this was the alternative? I'd like my bug-eyed Gowron, reluctant Martok, and honorable Worf back. Just an FYI - this is not a slight to the actors. I think they did a good job and the Klingons, despite their ridiculous new look, felt Klingon.
  8. The episode's pacing was off. It felt rushed and convoluted for no reason. Between her passing out in the asteroid belt and being in sickbay ... or her jumping through space from the brig and suddenly being on the bridge in good condition. WTF?
  9. This is not the first Star Trek where the principal characters do dangerous away missions but Burnham sent on that space walk? What...? No such thing as probes in the 23rd century huh?
  10. Last but not least: Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham. To me - the weakest aspect of this episode. Between shoehorning her in as Spock's half sister (Why did she need to be his sister? Vulcan is a small place...) and her erratic behavior throughout the episode - I was really put off by this character. I was intrigued by the idea of a human growing up in an alien culture and then being "re-introduced" into human society but her character did not come off as someone raised by Vulcans. She was highly emotional (although to be fair - she had been with this crew for 7 years and they probably "cracked" the Vulcan shell she had).
  • The problem with having a singular POV or main character versus an emphasis on an ensemble cast is ... you better make sure that the singular POV is amazing. It would be like watching TNG and the focus is solely on Riker. Frakes' Riker isn't terrible. Just like Burnham isn't terrible. But I'd rather much more focus on Picard/Data/Worf than Riker only. I found Phillipa and Saru more interesting than Burnham .... not a good thing when she solely leads the show.
  • The mutiny scene was incredibly silly, but more importantly ... not yet earned. It had no emotional pull because I never saw these characters grow together. If Worf betrayed Sisko in season 7 or if Data betrayed Picard in season 7 - it would be far more emotional and impactful because we saw these characters grow together. When the mutiny was done in Battlestar Galactica - it was shocking because it was done by characters we had seen for years. Here - I'm just told I'm supposed to be shocked by Burnham doing this because they've been friends for years. When Spock took over the Enterprise in "The Menagerie" - it had some impact because we had already seen several episodes with Spock.
  • I understand the implication she has PTSD from the Klingons and thus becomes less in control due to their presence - but it just wasn't handled particularly well. Maybe if we got more time with the character under normal circumstances then it would have been more powerful when she betrayed her crew.
  • Her relationship with the crew felt so artificial. This was the reason it was a mistake to simply say she had been with the crew for nearly a decade.
  • While it is ... slightly intriguing that she is the focal point for the bloody war between the Federation and Klingons - I didn't realize a single person was responsible for it ... who knew?

Honestly? Besides the money issue - now I can see why Axanar was ... dealt with the way it was. I'm sorry but I am more interested in seeing Admiral Ramirez (Tony Todd) and this war beginning than I am Burnham.

I even watched this episode with my girlfriend who is just learning more about Star Trek. I wanted her opinion because I wasn't sure if mine was bias. Even she agreed it felt really rushed and to a casual fan - it was pretty confusing on who all these people were. If I hadn't been there to explain who the Federation was, the Klingons, etc. She'd have even been more lost.

I understand that all the pilots of all the Trek shows are weak, but oddly enough ... this pilot made me appreciate the others all the more. The slow build up. The introduction of characters. The majestic shots of the ships/station. I honestly like Caretaker more than this .... ouch. Hell, I feel even Abrams did a better job of making it feel like Star Trek (Even if he made it feel like Star Trek meets Transformers). I will never complain again about Enterprise not doing enough to "fit" in the canon. It did a far superior job on that than DSC.

Overall - I am hoping this show improves considerably.

Wow, thank you, The Founder.

Gee, the more I read about DISCOVERY the less I want to see this CBS and Netflix series LOL

But who am I to judge. I just saw the trailers and read a few reviews...........sigh

Gus

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Well, I like it just fine so far, even if I found Burnam a little too "waxing poetic" in episode one.

It's not for everyone. I love DS9 and pretty much still hate Voyager. Lots of fans feel the opposite way.

 

That's just fandom.

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34 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^
I’m just going to file that holoconference under “Star Trek Retcon #3,267.”  :laugh:

Probably best...! Looking at it from a production/diplomacy perspective they could've saved themselves a headache, though...

34 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Right next to the frequent use of holocommunicators a full century before their ‘invention’ in DS9’s “For the Uniform.”  :giggle:

tumblr_n29wfcjQ8v1tre0pho2_250.gif  

I hide it well...years of practice. :P

Well, DW has always been a lot better about explaining in-universe changes than ST has, let’s face it. :laugh:

I was surprised at how effective the Mondasian Cybermen looked.  I was worried they’d be a joke with their “Ralph Kramden as a Spaceman” retro-technology, but they were as chilling as ever.  Their voices and their blank-slate expressions go a long way in overcoming their admittedly clunky look...

54935de955d1450c9ebf0125f540a4091e35406.

Heheh.

34 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

ST has only had limited effectiveness with trying to marry its past’s overall aesthetic with its current look.   But sometimes it does just seem to wave a middle finger to all of it, and go full steam ahead.  A part of me admires that storytelling audacity, but the ST nerd in me also cringes a bit.

It's the right way, really. (So why not set in in the 25th century? I'm never going to get that.)

34 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

But for some reason, the Klingon thing didn’t shake me up as much as it could’ve (or should’ve); maybe it’s because I’m not as passionate a fan of the Klingons as other fans.  More of a Romulans kinda guy; I find their shared history with my favorite aliens (Vulcans) to be more personally interesting than space viking/bikers (and I say that as a former motorcyclist; we motorcyclists can be deeply uninteresting... :laugh: ).

Of the "big three" (Klingons, Romulans, Borg), they've been used most effectively most often, IMHO.

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4 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Probably best...! Looking at it from a production/diplomacy perspective they could've saved themselves a headache, though...

Agreed.

I’m also thinking that the use of the same-style Klingons in the holoconference might’ve been done for the NEW fans they’re hoping to lure to the show.  

If they had these blue-gray, bald ‘fundamentalist’ Klingons aboard the coffin-ship holoconferencing with a bunch of hairy lobster-heads, a new audience member might be thinking, “Okay, so why are the fundies getting approval from THESE guys?  Aren’t they supposed to be of the same species?"

So it might’ve been a streamlining storytelling device that backfired.   One of those occasional ‘oopses' that arise when filmmakers/writers straddle that line between attracting new audience members while trying to be faithful to older ones.

4 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

It's the right way, really. (So why not set in in the 25th century? I'm never going to get that.)

Also agreed.

Nothing I’ve seen in the series so far (first two episodes) has convinced me that this had to be a prequel.    This is a glaring nit.  

The look of the ship, the uniforms and the holoconferencing all felt better suited to a late-24th or 25th century ST series. 

That said?  I still enjoyed the show, and I fully intend to keep watching whether it steps on continuity toes or not. :P

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15 minutes ago, GustavoLeao said:

Hey ! Watch out for my continuity toes UGH !!!!

original.gif  :giggle: :P

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To address the issue of the Klingons - - -

My main issue of them looking different is the people behind the scenes said that would be explained. It might later on - but ... it's not looking good so far. And while I understand that the look of the Klingons happened before - I didn't grow up seeing the TOS Klingons to TMP Klingons to TNG Klingons. When I started Trek, they already looked like Worf.

Also, the issue with both the Klingons and uniforms is simple - Trek through the other shows made it a point to say they did look like TOS. It wasn't a matter of outdated graphics or designs. Worf in DS9 specifically stated the Klingons looked different. In ENT/DS9, the uniforms specifically looked like they did in TOS. So the argument of "all shows had to update because what passed back then doesn't pass now." Ok .... that doesn't work for Trek because of the time travel episodes. Look at the picture below - they didn't "update" the bridge to look closer to the graphics/designs of TNG. They simply said "Yes, this is how it looked." Period. Picard looked around, not in awe at how brightly colored everything was, but just to say "Ah yes - Constitution Class."

vlcsnap-2016-03-25-20h09m04s218.png

But I think ... at this point I'm beating a dead horse on it. I just don't buy the argument of "Look - other shows updated their graphics." Yes, but other shows didn't really have time travel. Look at Star Wars Rogue One - it felt like it could be part of the universe of the Original Trilogy. Do you know why Alien Isolation was popular? Because they went through painstaking details to make it look like the 70s version.

There is something to be said for those that make it look like the original. Yes, I know "but the original looked corny and backwards ...." - then do what Abrams did and update it all. I can't believe I'm saying this but Abramsverse looks closer to the original Trek then this does.

giphy.gif

As for the we should wait on seeing the Discovery .... IDK ... I feel there are somethings that should be introduced episode 1. But that's just me.

 

On 9/28/2017 at 9:21 AM, Sehlat Vie said:

I actually appreciated the elegant simplicity of that mission; the water was under bedrock and that obviously primitive culture had no way to penetrate it.  

Imagine if an entire civilization was threatened into extinction for want of a pair of gardening shears.   You beam down, use the shears, and leave.   The culture is saved.

Meanwhile, you’ve spared that culture any foreknowledge of metallurgy that would affect their development.  

I thought the elegance and relative simplicity of that opening mission worked a hell of a lot better than STID’s stupid ‘cold fusion’ volcano stopper, not to mention the idiocy of hiding a starship underwater for no good reason whatsoever.

You bring up very good points, Founder (as always).  I appreciate the mental workout of challenging them... at my age, I need it.  :P

But within the context of Star Trek - wouldn't this be a violation of the Prime Directive? Why are they helping this pre-warp alien species? Seems odd .... no explanation.

Thank you. Same to you.

On 9/29/2017 at 3:52 AM, Dillkid said:

I watched Episode 1 last night, I quite enjoyed it when I over looked the technology looking about 200 years more advanced than it's supposed to at that time. I feel that it would have been better to have set it in the 25th Century, to avoid stepping on egg shells with regards to canon. Michael's Vulcan mentor didn't have to be Sarek after all. I don't see why they have to change the look of the Klingon race, the way they were was fine. It will take some getting used to. It was visualy very impressive, but that means nothing to me if the story going forward isn't interesting. We shall see! They left it on an exciting cliff hanger I'll give them that. I'll be watching Episode 2 tonight.

This is mostly how I feel too. Seems so dumb they wanted to set it in the 23rd century but wanted to "update" it to this degree. I also agree that there is no reason that Burnham has to be connected to Sarek/Spock. Why bother? In fact - it might be more interesting if she was a ward of T'Pol's. Although I had Jolene Blalock has kind of distanced herself from Trek. But did this cheap name grab have to be done?

Even the Klingon ships look ... radically different. Does the below really look that outdated and too "1960s"?

tumblr_nmllz2PV3s1rzu2xzo3_400.gif

On 9/30/2017 at 7:58 AM, Robin Bland said:

Right. After th events of Enterprise, they just vanished? 

That bit really stuck at me, too. Even with the differences between 60s Klingons and all the crab-headed ones that came later, they still felt like the same culture, they all originated from Quo'nos. 

These ones all looked like Nosferatu. All of them, from all the different houses, supposedly all so different. There wasn't even a passing nod to "unaugmented" Klingons or our more familiar Space Viking Klingons from TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. Try as I might to just take these as new interpretations of the Klingons, I fear I am a little more superficial than Vie, because this really jarred me out of the story. Even their ships bear little resemblance to what's been seen previously, before and after in the timeline. 

I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I wonder if this will be addressed at any point? The showrunners have said that it'll look like they're ignoring canon but aspects of the story like that will be addressed later - so maybe they will. I already rewatched ep 1 and could accommodate it a little more, but man, those subtitled scenes on the Sarcophagus Ship are drawn out. There seems to be an intention to make the Klingons more "realistic" - to treat them with a po-faced seriousness that'll underline how "different" they are. Let's face it, our TNG-era ones were really kind of hokey, but something about them is relatable. The effort that has gone into making these Klingons identifiably "other" is considerable, so I'm very interested to see how this plays out. 

I also think it's entirely deliberate for Burnham to be portrayed the way she is. When she boards the titular Discovery, that'll be all new for her and us, the audience, and simply by virtue of the fact we met her first, she'll initially remain our POV character (until Saru turns up, anyway). I think that's clever story construction - I hope that's the case, anyway.

I hope these'll turn out to be small complaints. Watching this new Star Trek is a learning curve. I have to say that, so far, there's more here that intrigues me than not, and I want it to win me over. 

The showrunners claim this will be addressed at some point ...

I don't mind Burnham making mistakes but the mistakes she made was pretty glaring for a "pilot".

23 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Sisko pulled the Romulans into a war; he did so deliberately.  Technically he was a war criminal.   Yet we, the audience, still found a way to forgive him (or at least I did).

Burnham’s actions were IMO an honest mistake; she genuinely believed her comrades aboard the Shenzhou were at stake, and she was right.  Maybe if they struck first with a “Vulcan hello” the Klingons might’ve respected their strength (?).   I love Georgiou’s character, but a counterargument could be made that her inaction (as well as her condescending ‘we come in peace’ line) further provoked the Klingons.

I saw the battle at the binary stars as a bit of a Kobyashi Maru situation; inaction would’ve emboldened the Klingons and further retaliation would’ve given them what they wanted (and got); a war.   They were itching for a fight either way.  I don’t see how Burnham (or Georgiou) could’ve enacted a more positive outcome.

And there’s also the chance that her redemption arc might... well, redeem her.  :)

Guess I’m the only one who found her sympathetic. :confused: 

Oh well...

She’s young and she’s capable of making mistakes.  I like that ST has the audacity to follow a character who isn’t perfect right out of the box.   Even Ben Sisko was a flawed and broken man who couldn’t get beyond his past in “Emissary”; part of the joy of DS9 was watching him become the commander he was meant to be.  

My favorite captain, Jean-Luc Picard, was irascible and poor with kids when we first met him (“Grumpy Picard” as our own Mr. Picard so memorably calls him!), but he became a more emotionally grounded and humane person over the course of a few years.  I appreciate the evolution

Personally I look forward to Burnham coming back from rock bottom.

 

The difference between Burnham and Sisko is .... we got time to see Sisko at his best/noble. So seeing him hit rock bottom and committing a terrible war crime was (to me at least) more powerful. Versus Burnham whom we see as highly irritable, argumentative, and rebellious the entire time. It means more to see our heroes at their best first before we see them fall. But I guess for the sake of the story ... we'll see her redemption arc. ...

For what it is worth - none of our heroes looked particularly good in their pilots. Picard, as you said, came across as irritable and "grumpy". Sisko came across as bitter and stand offish. Janeway came across as a fool. Archer just came across as dull and ignorant of alien cultures. It seems like a character growth trend for all our captains. Hopefully Burnham follows suit?

9 hours ago, Dillkid said:

I thought there had always been a Federation/Klingon war before TOS, Picard stated on the TNG episode 'First Contact' the following.

"There is no starship mission more dangerous than that of first contact... centuries ago, disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war..."

If we class ENT's 'Broken Bow' as Earth's first contact with the Klingons, but Michael's mistake being the Federation's first contact with the Klingons (They hadn't  met since ENT times, pre Federation), then couldn't this be the incident that Picard mentioned? 

That's ... actually a cool idea. ENT definitely dropped the ball on this. The retcon I've heard is "Picard meant first contact between the Federation and the Klingons." Since DSC established the Klingons disappeared ever since ENT (before the UFP) - then it would match up that Picard "meant" FC with Klingons while the UFP exists was disastrous. I actually think that's cool. See how nice things are when they match up? :P haha.

On 9/30/2017 at 3:34 AM, Sim said:

Hey Founder,

great points, and good observation!

Upon first viewing, many of the cons you name irritated me too -- although my bottom line feeling is much more positive. I especially noticed the lack of the ship Discovery, the lack of an introduction of its crew and the main characters, and Burnham's irratic, unrelatable character.

But ... after quite some thinking, I told myself this: This is not a pilot episode of a new Star Trek show. It's episode 1 and 2 of a fully serialized show like "Game of Thrones" or "The Expanse", that will feature a complex arc and character development over the course of entire seasons. All we got to see so far is just the prehistory of Burnham's character.

The new format does not allow a pilot episode like the old shows had -- where we get introduced to all characters and the ship that will be in the focus until episode 178 --, simply because there will be no such strict focus for DSC. The focus will be Burnham, so it was her backstory. Perhaps the show will be less static than previous shows, perhaps even main characters may be killed off during the course of the arcs, much like in the other new serialized shows of this age.

So when Burnham appears hard to relate to, irratic or even irrational in the beginning? That's perhaps part of the idea -- she'll get a character growth arc, over the course of which we're supposed to grow to like her. It's the whole point that she is NOT the flawless, likable hero we expected her to be, because we're used to Star Trek main characters being that. No matter how she'll end up on the Discovery, despite her life in prison, perhaps the crew of the ship will meet her with skepticism and resentment at first, too, and her arc is about how she redeems herself? At least that's one possibility.

And the fact that the entire first 2 episodes are dedicated to Burnham's backstory, that hints at the scope of the upcoming arc: Rather than just tell her backstory in a few words (like in case of Tom Paris in the VOY pilot), we actually get to *see* it with our own eyes. If I'll love the show and the character by the end of the season, I'll perhaps think in retrospect, it was amazing we got to see this backstory, rather than just being told it in a few words. It feels more epic this way.

Thanks. Yeah - it helps for me to think that maybe this isn't a pilot. Episode 3 will be a proper pilot and that his was some ... short opener for Burnham. IDK. Yes - true. Perhaps since this is meant to be a serialized show that maybe they can take their time and do more show and less tell.

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4 minutes ago, The Founder said:

But within the context of Star Trek - wouldn't this be a violation of the Prime Directive? Why are they helping this pre-warp alien species? Seems odd .... no explanation.

Not necessarily.  The asteroid deflection mission in TOS’ “The Paradise Syndrome” (the one with the native Americans worshiping Kirk as a god for non-TOS fans) was similar.   There was also the first contact mission in “The Apple”; Kirk says (in dialogue), “Starfleet wants it investigated and the inhabitants contacted”, and the Children of Vaal were clearly pre-warp.

So there have been exceptions. 

10 hours ago, Dillkid said:

I thought there had always been a Federation/Klingon war before TOS, Picard stated on the TNG episode 'First Contact' the following.

"There is no starship mission more dangerous than that of first contact... centuries ago, disastrous contact with the Klingon Empire led to decades of war..."

If we class ENT's 'Broken Bow' as Earth's first contact with the Klingons, but Michael's mistake being the Federation's first contact with the Klingons (They hadn't  met since ENT times, pre Federation), then couldn't this be the incident that Picard mentioned? 

I agree with this assessment. 

Maybe “Broken Bow” wasn’t thought of as the ‘real’ first contact between the Klingons and humans because it was such an isolated incident.   More like a bus ride home that got a little more dangerous than anticipated.   Besides, in my ‘head canon’ the adventures of the NX-01 didn’t happen prior to the 1701-E traveling back to the 21st century and mucking with Cochrane’s warp flight; ENT was, to me, an alternate history that somehow aligns (more or less) with TOS later on.   Before FC there were only six starships named Enterprise.  After Cochrane heard the name (mentioned by Troi in FC) that became the name of the warp 5 ship.   Anyway, that’s my head canon and I’m sticking to it...:P

So yes, I could see the Klingon-Federation war in DSC as being more fittingly descriptive of the ‘disastrous’ first contact that Picard describes.

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On 9/30/2017 at 6:29 PM, Integral said:

I have zero love for Burnham and she ain't an anti-hero and worse still her actions killed off the best character the show had going which was Captain Georgiou.

Put it this way the more episode 1 continued and the more episode 2 continued the biggest drag to the show's quality was Burnham's character, I also think her redemption arc is going to be as emo and as dumb as hell.

Basically there's no coming back from the mistakes she made, her actions caused a war to break out between the Klingons and the Federation. There is NOTHING to sympathise with for Burnham because her actions are so stupid.

It's... It's botched story writing and characterization. The show's creators have focused on the wrong character.

Let's hope the other characters yet to be introduced are more interesting.

I have come to this: They have written the lead character in a way that it is inevitable some people will love her and some people will hate her. By putting her through a no win scenario, it makes it so that we can all replay other outcomes and decisions. You might say her actions are stupid. But she had specific reasons dictating those actions. You can say she made the wrong call based on those reasons and data points. But you could also argue that she had the right solution--to fire first--and if she had succeeded the conflict would have been less consequential. Once she's gone there in her head, nerve pinching the captain was the desperate but understandable next step from Burnham's point of view. But it did not work because she did not get to fire. Wouldn't the conflict have played out the exact same way if Burnham never had nerve pinched her? Then you could argue that Georgeiou (and Anderson--and stuffy Star Fleet complacency in the face of a new threat) was partly to blame for the war.

My point is that there is no easy answer. You lean toward Burnham being wrong, others lean toward her being right. I'm just thrilled that we have a Star Trek conflict and main character that defies simple explanation and cliche.          

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5 minutes ago, Justin Snead said:

My point is that there is no easy answer. You lean toward Burnham being wrong, others lean toward her being right. I'm just thrilled that we have a Star Trek conflict and main character that defies simple explanation and cliche. 

^ And that is precisely why I like her. 

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6 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

^ And that is precisely why I like her. 

Seconded. She's no Star Trek archetype and that alone infuses life into the show.

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Integral   
On 10/1/2017 at 2:49 AM, Sehlat Vie said:

Sisko pulled the Romulans into a war; he did so deliberately.  Technically he was a war criminal.   Yet we, the audience, still found a way to forgive him (or at least I did).

Burnham’s actions were IMO an honest mistake; she genuinely believed her comrades aboard the Shenzhou were at stake, and she was right.  Maybe if they struck first with a “Vulcan hello” the Klingons might’ve respected their strength (?).   I love Georgiou’s character, but a counterargument could be made that her inaction (as well as her condescending ‘we come in peace’ line) further provoked the Klingons.

I saw the battle at the binary stars as a bit of a Kobyashi Maru situation; inaction would’ve emboldened the Klingons and further retaliation would’ve given them what they wanted (and got); a war.   They were itching for a fight either way.  I don’t see how Burnham (or Georgiou) could’ve enacted a more positive outcome.

And there’s also the chance that her redemption arc might... well, redeem her.  :)

Guess I’m the only one who found her sympathetic. :confused: 

Oh well...

She’s young and she’s capable of making mistakes.  I like that ST has the audacity to follow a character who isn’t perfect right out of the box.   Even Ben Sisko was a flawed and broken man who couldn’t get beyond his past in “Emissary”; part of the joy of DS9 was watching him become the commander he was meant to be.  

My favorite captain, Jean-Luc Picard, was irascible and poor with kids when we first met him (“Grumpy Picard” as our own Mr. Picard so memorably calls him!), but he became a more emotionally grounded and humane person over the course of a few years.  I appreciate the evolution

Personally I look forward to Burnham coming back from rock bottom.

 

With Sisko and Garak one could feel the intelligence and cunning, it was a risky gambit but a clever one. They read the situation and managed to successfully manipulate.

With Burnham it was just reactionary and based on some chance encounters historically with Klingons, perhaps the Vulcans fired on an aggressive Klingon tribe/clan/faction. How could Burnham extrapolate like that given the many years of zero contact between the Klingons and the Federation? Caution was the best option but Burnham just seems reckless and it came out of nowhere.

That and the episode was poorly written.

 

 

10 hours ago, Justin Snead said:

I have come to this: They have written the lead character in a way that it is inevitable some people will love her and some people will hate her. By putting her through a no win scenario, it makes it so that we can all replay other outcomes and decisions. You might say her actions are stupid. But she had specific reasons dictating those actions. You can say she made the wrong call based on those reasons and data points. But you could also argue that she had the right solution--to fire first--and if she had succeeded the conflict would have been less consequential. Once she's gone there in her head, nerve pinching the captain was the desperate but understandable next step from Burnham's point of view. But it did not work because she did not get to fire. Wouldn't the conflict have played out the exact same way if Burnham never had nerve pinched her? Then you could argue that Georgeiou (and Anderson--and stuffy Star Fleet complacency in the face of a new threat) was partly to blame for the war.

My point is that there is no easy answer. You lean toward Burnham being wrong, others lean toward her being right. I'm just thrilled that we have a Star Trek conflict and main character that defies simple explanation and cliche.          

Burnham's actions make no sense in regards to the seven-year relationship between herself and Georgiou. This is a relationship which respects the command structure and one where the first officer is supporting the captain.

The answer is quite simple- keep the peace and don't provoke the Klingons! Let them make the first move.

Anyway, Burnham's character suffers from atrocious story-telling. It would have made more sense to see her character from the third episode onwards and hinting that she has done something bad, but by showing what she did it destroys the believability of the good aspects of her character.

Because of the first two episodes I struggle to see Burnham keeping a cool head, where the series says logic and intuition I see recklessness and dodgy assumptions.

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48 minutes ago, Integral said:

With Burnham it was just reactionary and based on some chance encounters historically with Klingons, perhaps the Vulcans fired on an aggressive Klingon tribe/clan/faction. How could Burnham extrapolate like that given the many years of zero contact between the Klingons and the Federation? Caution was the best option but Burnham just seems reckless and it came out of nowhere.

I disagree.

The Klingons wanted a war and were determined to get one.  Think of the tactical situation; there was no peaceful solution to that scenario.   Withdraw, and the Klingons gain a foothold in Federation space.   Negotiate, and they view humans as weak (and again, the Klingons would attack...or worse, occupy).  Or they could’ve done as Sarek advised Burnham; fire first, and cut their throats.   If they’d fired first, there is the possibility that the Klingons would’ve realized the Feds weren’t just all talk and no action.   They might’ve even respected such power.  We’ll never know.

I’m not a warmonger, but there are rare times when a first strike is the only viable military solution.

And Sarek said that approach was used in ALL of Vulcan’s interactions with Klingons; I don’t recall him specifying one faction or House. 

48 minutes ago, Integral said:

Burnham's actions make no sense in regards to the seven-year relationship between herself and Georgiou. This is a relationship which respects the command structure and one where the first officer is supporting the captain.

Star Trek has a long tradition of the first officers turning against their captains at some point.  Not with the same extreme consequences, granted, but all of them have at one point or another.   Spock has disobeyed Kirk (“Menagerie”), Riker has disobeyed Picard (“Pegasus” ), Kira has disobeyed Sisko (quite a bit in S1), and there’s been at least a few episodes of VGR where Chakotay has disobeyed Janeway.  

Ironically, the only one first officer who hadn’t (at least not that I recall) was T’Pol; the Vulcan that Archer didn’t trust initially (insert irony there).

 

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Integral   
1 minute ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I disagree.

The Klingons wanted a war and were determined to get one.  Think of the tactical situation; there was no peaceful solution to that scenario.   Withdraw, and the Klingons gain a foothold in Federation space.   Negotiate, and they view humans as weak (again, the Klingons attack).  Or fire first, and cut their throats.   If they’d fired first, there is the possibility that the Klingons would’ve realized the Feds weren’t just all talk and no action.  

And Sarek said that approach was used in ALL of Vulcan’s interactions with Klingons; I don’t recall him specifying one faction or House. 

Star Trek has a long tradition of the first officers turning against their captains at some point.  Not with the same extreme consequences, granted, but all of them have at one point or another.   Spock has disobeyed Kirk (“Menagerie”), Riker has disobeyed Picard (“Pegasus” ), Kira has disobeyed Sisko (quite a bit in S1), and there’s been at least a few episodes of VGR where Chakotay has disobeyed Janeway.  

Ironically, the only one first officer who hadn’t (at least not that I recall) was T’Pol; the Vulcan that Archer didn’t trust initially (insert irony there).

 

Withdrawing would have made more sense. Let the Klingons invade a bit of Federation territory, in the meantime Starfleet gathers together some fleets and then gives those Klingons absolute hell. Retreat is one of the most useful tactics out there, but no Starfleet had to hold a line where the clock was ticking. It would have made WAY MORE sense if Starfleet had asked the ship (forget its name) to return to a nearby space station or fleet of ships in order to prepare for a counter-offensive against the Klingons. It's about winning the war not one particular battle.

Negotiations would have been good as well- it buys time. Besides why would Starfleet give a damn about what the Klingons think? From this series it seems clear that the Federation has an advantage in economy, technology and most likely military.

Attacking first makes the Federation look weak because Starfleet is playing by the Klingon's rules, by sticking to negotiation the Federation is sticking to what it does best. And a foe ultimately respects their opponent when that opponent doggedly sticks to their principles and rules. That's defiance, defiance projected through power ultimately creates respect. In the good old Star Trek that's what made the Federation so potent- even after wars it was still willing to negotiate, find peace and find common ground. It's how the Federation won over some of its foes: Klingons for instance.

How could the writers forget all of this? Why? Or... Or perhaps the writers don't know jack about life and just want to squeeze out drama and suspense for the sake of drama and suspense.

 

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11 minutes ago, Integral said:

Withdrawing would have made more sense. Let the Klingons invade a bit of Federation territory, in the meantime Starfleet gathers together some fleets and then gives those Klingons absolute hell. Retreat is one of the most useful tactics out there, but no Starfleet had to hold a line where the clock was ticking. It would have made WAY MORE sense if Starfleet had asked the ship (forget its name) to return to a nearby space station or fleet of ships in order to prepare for a counter-offensive against the Klingons. It's about winning the war not one particular battle.

It’s not as if the Klingons would stop there.  And even with a fleet of starships, Starfleet got hammered.

The Vulcan approach may seem barbaric, but in regards to the foe, perhaps it was a force-appropriate response.   And arguably it’s one of the reasons that Klingons never had direct conflict with Vulcan.

11 minutes ago, Integral said:

How could the writers forget all of this? Why? Or... Or perhaps the writers don't know jack about life and just want to squeeze out drama and suspense for the sake of drama and suspense.

No, because they had to put Burnham in a rock-bottom place for her eventual redemption.   That’s her arc

I think we ST fans might be a bit too used to having it all fixed by the end of the hour.   

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On 10/1/2017 at 0:16 PM, Zef'No said:

Ok, I’ve seen the first two episodes of Discovery now.

While I didn’t hate it, I can’t really say it was good.

As a pilot it failed terribly. A pilot is supposed to introduce you to the characters and the setting and such, but this didn’t do any of that. The first episode was geared almost exclusively to presenting Burnham. And in that, it doesn’t do badly. Both character and actor seem ok, she doesn’t make me want to reach for the off switch the way Bakula (and Blalock) did and I think she is someone I could follow (I’m not sure the Sarek stuff worked though. It’s going to get very silly if he just randomly pops up every now and then like a fairy godmother).

However, it was all too much Burnham-centric. Ok, she’s the star, but I don’t just want to see one person’s adventures all the time. Star Trek has always worked best as an ensemble series featuring several different characters. This is where Enterprise went wrong; it focussed far too much on the three main characters and everyone else was just there to prop them up. I am worried that Discovery might be going that same way, and this would be unfortunate. Hopefully we’ll get to focus on different characters in subsequent episodes.

The first episodes felt very much like a prologue to the series-proper. And this is not a good way to begin a TV series. If I wasn’t already a Trek fan, I would have lost interested and switched off. Certainly the first episode, I kept thinking “When is it actually going to start?”. It was like watching one big teaser.

It’s like if the whole of Emissary had been about Sisko at Wolf 359… That would not have been a good introduction to Deep Space Nine. It was a brief sequence to establish what we needed to establish, then it moved on. That’s what should have happened here. As it is, it feels like the first two episodes have been wasted and they can’t really afford to do that.

Overall then, the pilot didn’t enthral me, but it wasn’t a complete disaster. It did enough to make me want to see the next episode, but I can’t imagine it maintaining my interest for decades the way I still enjoy TOS, TNG etc. We haven’t seen enough to judge the series as a whole yet. I’m cautiously optimistic it will get better once we actually get on the right ship with the right characters (something that should have happened by the end of the first episode at the absolute latest).

This largely sums up how I feel and your comparison of it being about Sisko solely at Wolf 359 is on point.

This really felt like a youtube short that should have aired free before the actual first episode where the Discovery was introduced and the actual crew was shown.

Oh well - I guess they wanted to try something new.

star-trek-anton-yelchin-shrug.gif

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