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Episode 1.5 "Choose Your Pain" Discussion Thread

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2 hours ago, Corylea said:

Given Captain Lorca's utilitarianism, it seems quite possible that there'll be a mutiny sooner or later, and it seems as if most of us are expecting Burnham to lead the mutiny, to bookend her earlier one. 

And then it occurred to me -- what if Saru starts the mutiny, and Burnham joins in?  I know that Burnham is the main character, but I think she'd need Lorca to do a really huge and terrible thing in order to mutiny a second time.  But if Saru begins it and she joins in, that lays the ground for him to understand her in a way that he doesn't now and for them to become the close and unbeatable team that I think they could become.  The first officer IS supposed to question the captain's actions when the XO thinks those actions are wrong, so it would be more legitimate for Saru to displace the captain than for anyone else to do so.  And his action in freeing the tardigrade before Lorca was cleared to resume command suggests that he's already begun trying to work around Lorca....

I would love to see the scene where Saru recruits Burnham to help him mutiny against Lorca; the dramatic and character-building possibilities are rich. :)

Or maybe all of this just means that it's been too long since I wrote any fan fiction. :P

I love that idea, and hope they do it!

 

Edited by Robin Bland

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20 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I disagree as to the whole “more real” thing. TNG is as real to me as is DSC - and I’m from the absolute and total TNG corner of the fandom, there is no other series I love the way I love TNG. I do realize that some of its characters aren’t fleshed out in the way some fans would like for them to be - but it’s incredibly difficult to flesh out characters on a show that’s supposed to be episodic and that operates under the assumption that “at the end of each episode everything has to be the way it was when the episode began”. It limits what you can do as a writer, but it also changes your task - it makes you operate under the premise of “what’s gonna happen this week that shows us how the characters operate to get things back to the way they were”. The thing here is to go backwards - look at how the characters respond to what’s happening WITHIN that timeframe instead of throughout the series (with the few exceptions where the show DID have arcs, of course). THAT tells you all about them. I don’t see how this makes characters “bland”. It just requires reading between the lines instead of getting things served on a plate like DS9 often did and DSC is doing now, where you get all the arcs and fleshed out moments that TNG did not (and could not) have due to its episodic nature. I for one still prefer to fill the gaps myself.

Also, I look at most of the TNG characters and think “these are folks I’d like to hang out with”. I honestly can’t say the same about any of the other crews - and as much I adore Lorca I wouldn’t want to live on his ship and his crew would make me incredibly uncomfortable, especially Tilly with her weird enthusiasm for everything and her being so nosy and whatnot. (I do like Saru tho, he’s the only one I’d really like to be friends with.) People these days make me uncomfortable to hang around, maybe this is why I like most of the TNG folks so much - they come with an invisible sign above their head that says “safe, won’t backstab you unless malfunctioning/possessed by alien”. I simply prefer harmony, not conflict - I come from a background where conflict happened every evening, and it was NOT pleasant, and I would simply like to live in a place where folks are comforting, not upsetting or devious or “with his person you never now what you get”. I therefore don’t see TNG’s approach as a weakness, I see it as a strength. It makes you dig deeper into the characters in your own time, it doesn’t tell you all you need to know in a detailed long arc - it gives you glimpses and it’s up to you to fill the gaps - but only if you want to. If not, you can also just sit back and watch a few episodes here and there and then switch it all off and watch something else. That’s how the show was designed, and back then it had to be designed like that. It WAS made 30 years ago, and I just think it’s somewhat unfair to compare it to a show like DSC that is neither made for an 80s/early 90s television audience nor has to operate under the strict “Roddenberry/Berman rules”.

What I do agree with is that they should have tuned down the “we’re better than you late 20th century folks” tone on TNG though. It WAS somewhat clumsy sometimes, and it did come without enough nuances. They meant well - to me it’s comforting to see a world where most things are peaceful and I’ve always disliked DS9 for its preachy undertone of “its not as nice as you think it is, let us tell you how TNG’s utopia was flawed” - how about no, I like my TNG world the way it is, thanks - but sometimes TNG overdid the whole “we’re better humans now” thing, especially in the first season, but then, taking TNG’s first season overly seriously is usually a big mistake anyway. :P 

Still. With all I’ve said now, I should dislike DSC, just as I dislike DS9, because DSC takes things to levels that not even DS9 did. I should be up in arms, demanding for things to be like they were on TNG, wanting peaceful times, etc. But... I’m not doing any of those things , and surprisingly so. I like DSC a lot. BECAUSE it’s different indeed, and BECAUSE it brings in fresh air that the franchise needed indeed. It was a mistake for VOY to go back to TNG’s formula, absolutely. I agree. It was also a mistake to try and force ENT into the same old pattern as well (they had their moments here tho).

DSC had to be different, or we would have had another ENT, and I’m as puzzled as others are as to how people can actually still demand for TNG 2.0 to be made. What I’m trying to say is, I guess, that there can be room for both - for TNG love and for DSC love. I love TNG and I dig DSC... just BECAUSE the shows are so vastly different in their approach and yet both belong to the same franchise. I find this extremely fascinating. (Pun fully intended.) In fact, I’m working on a Picard/Lorca fic right now - of course I am - and it’s incredibly thrilling to put these two against each other (both mentally and physically, hurr hurr).

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with many of them, and I appreciate TNG for the kind of show it is. I dont hold it to any other standard. But I bring it up in the context of some fan criticism that Discovery is too different from the TNG tone. No modern Trek could write characters that way anymore. If you had to describe Will Riker's character, you would list a few one dimensional traits such as "loyal" and "professional" and "laddies man" and "ambitious" and then add on top of that things that he likes: jazz and ... (Im really thinking here...) the laddies. All TNG-era characters are written like this. As Robin pointed out,  the secret sauce of TNG, which VOY and ENT lacked, was a delightful cast of actors. They made it work.

But those character traits did not interact together in any meaningful way that revealed a deep psychology, nor did they THEN interact with an episode's plot in a way that was unique to that character thus revealing more about their psychology. This did happen once or twice. For Riker in Best of Both Worlds. For Picard in Family. There are other examples, but as you point out, TNG was not a character study it was about what exciting thing will happen to them each week. Which is fine. But it can't work today. Which is why Lorca, Burnham, Stamets and Saru have a lot more gears turning in their head than Trek characters of old.         

 

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5 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

I love that idea, and hope they do it!

 

I'd prefer something that shows Lorca becoming a more peaceful person by the series finale. I feel like I've read that Season 2 would move on from the fight against the Klingons, so it'd be interesting if he got to retire eventually, or even keep going on the USS Discovery, having learned from his crew how to be more peaceful for future fights after fighting the Klingons. Star Trek has many moments of characters learning from each other and learning to work better with each other.

If he loses command of the Discovery, I can see them going to him for help in Season 2 in a situation that would require his skills.

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1 hour ago, Justin Snead said:

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with many of them, and I appreciate TNG for the kind of show it is. I dont hold it to any other standard. But I bring it up in the context of some fan criticism that Discovery is too different from the TNG tone. No modern Trek could write characters that way anymore. If you had to describe Will Riker's character, you would list a few one dimensional traits such as "loyal" and "professional" and "laddies man" and "ambitious" and then add on top of that things that he likes: jazz and ... (Im really thinking here...) the laddies. All TNG-era characters are written like this. As Robin pointed out,  the secret sauce of TNG, which VOY and ENT lacked, was a delightful cast of actors. They made it work.

But those character traits did not interact together in any meaningful way that revealed a deep psychology, nor did they THEN interact with an episode's plot in a way that was unique to that character thus revealing more about their psychology. This did happen once or twice. For Riker in Best of Both Worlds. For Picard in Family. There are other examples, but as you point out, TNG was not a character study it was about what exciting thing will happen to them each week. Which is fine. But it can't work today. Which is why Lorca, Burnham, Stamets and Saru have a lot more gears turning in their head than Trek characters of old.         

 

Of course it doesn’t work today. Even now young fans tell me they find TNG very difficult to get into - they’re neither used to the episodic format nor to the way they characters were written nor do they have the patience to wait until the show finds its pace since they’re too used to “Netflixing”, aka “I watch the first two or three episodes of this and then I’ll know if it’s good or not” (they have never lived in an era where it WASN’T absolutely vital for a show’s survival to have a pilot episode that sets the tone and defines the whole rest of the show). TNG is a 30 year old show, which is what I always try to tell those young fans when they ask for my advice as to how to handle the show - be patient, and if you can’t be, watch an episode from a later season and see what it becomes, remember this was made before you were even born, it was a different time, etc etc. They usually listen and then get into it after all, but it’s a bit of a struggle.

I guess we are on the same side here indeed for the most part - we both agree that TNG wouldn’t work today. I guess I’m REALLY too used to writing my own stuff in which I dig deeper when it comes to a certain TNG character. I’ve spent many hours agonizing over Jean-Luc and his demons, shaping him into a character who gets more and also some darker nuances than the show could give him (and it did give him a lot already compared to others, absolutely - it did what it could within its frame) and I know others who do the same thing with Riker or Data in their stories, too. You CAN use the characters the show had as a basis and turn them into Discovery-like ones, the psychology IS there, you just have to find it yourself. The show didn’t dig deep enough by today’s standards though, yeah. But it showed ME enough to want to be around most of these people, which is no small achievement, given how I tend to feel about having people around me (no thanks, is how I feel). Which is why I tend to feel the need to defend the TNG folks. ;) 

But yes, essentially we agree - TNG 2.0 wouldn’t stand a chance today. The audience wants nuanced characters, ambiguous characters, etc etc. Discovery is trying to give it to them, and more of it with each episode, it builds and builds - but a LOT of Trekkies are kept from enjoying this because they either grew up with 90s Trek and cant let go of their “I want my childhood Trek” nostalgia OR because they’re old disgruntled TOS fans OR because of many other and not always sinister reasons. The show marks a milestone for the franchise, much like TNG did back in the day, and many fans just aren’t willing to go along because they no longer recognize the Trek they’re used to. They want TNG’s eternal optimism, DS9’s slightly less optimistic but still at the end idealistic ideas, or even VOY’s not-so-new approach. They just don’t WANT a shady and seemingly ruthless captain like Lorca who makes questionable decisions, they don’t want a mutineer like Burnham - they want 100% idealistic Starfleet officers who usually react to threats from the OUTSIDE, not the INSIDE.

It’s an understandable want - I’d probably want the same thing if I had grown up with 90s Trek and if I didn’t lack their deep love for the whole franchise. Discovery forces you to throw everything aside and look at Trek from a different perspective, and that is just something many fans don’t want to do.

The latest episode really didn’t help there either, what with Lorca leaving Mudd to rot in a Klingon prison cell or Saru politely declining to stop torturing a possibly sentient creature. It doesn’t FIT to the Trek folks are used to, not at first and not at second glance, and it gets worse for them with each episode because each episode seems to “cross a new line” and makes them want TNG 2.0 even more. But, as we both agree, something like that just wouldn’t fly today.

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41 minutes ago, Enterprise Discovery said:

I'd prefer something that shows Lorca becoming a more peaceful person by the series finale. I feel like I've read that Season 2 would move on from the fight against the Klingons, so it'd be interesting if he got to retire eventually, or even keep going on the USS Discovery, having learned from his crew how to be more peaceful for future fights after fighting the Klingons. Star Trek has many moments of characters learning from each other and learning to work better with each other.

If he loses command of the Discovery, I can see them going to him for help in Season 2 in a situation that would require his skills.

While I agree, and I hope next season they use the spore drive to so somer serious explor'n, I don't think the pace or tone would be much different. I was expecting--and some fans were worrying that this season would be heavy on the war stories, like a season of The Siege of AR472 from DS9. But it has mainly used the war as a backdrop to put our characters under intense pressure and force them into life and death dilemmas. That will likely continue after the war is over, just with other threats or dangers. Lorca may become more peaceful since he will no longer have a war to "warmonger" about. But he's probably not going to be that different of a captain.      

32 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

Of course it doesn’t work today. Even now young fans tell me they find TNG very difficult to get into - they’re neither used to the episodic format nor to the way they characters were written nor do they have the patience to wait until the show finds its pace since they’re too used to “Netflixing”, aka “I watch the first two or three episodes of this and then I’ll know if it’s good or not” (they have never lived in an era where it WASN’T absolutely vital for a show’s survival to have a pilot episode that sets the tone and defines the whole rest of the show). TNG is a 30 year old show, which is what I always try to tell those young fans when they ask for my advice as to how to handle the show - be patient, and if you can’t be, watch an episode from a later season and see what it becomes, remember this was made before you were even born, it was a different time, etc etc. They usually listen and then get into it after all, but it’s a bit of a struggle.

I guess we are on the same side here indeed for the most part - we both agree that TNG wouldn’t work today. I guess I’m REALLY too used to writing my own stuff in which I dig deeper when it comes to a certain TNG character. I’ve spent many hours agonizing over Jean-Luc and his demons, shaping him into a character who gets more and also some darker nuances than the show could give him (and it did give him a lot already compared to others, absolutely - it did what it could within its frame) and I know others who do the same thing with Riker or Data in their stories, too. You CAN use the characters the show had as a basis and turn them into Discovery-like ones, the psychology IS there, you just have to find it yourself. The show didn’t dig deep enough by today’s standards though, yeah. But it showed ME enough to want to be around most of these people, which is no small achievement, given how I tend to feel about having people around me (no thanks, is how I feel). Which is why I tend to feel the need to defend the TNG folks. ;) 

But yes, essentially we agree - TNG 2.0 wouldn’t stand a chance today. The audience wants nuanced characters, ambiguous characters, etc etc. Discovery is trying to give it to them, and more of it with each episode, it builds and builds - but a LOT of Trekkies are kept from enjoying this because they either grew up with 90s Trek and cant let go of their “I want my childhood Trek” nostalgia OR because they’re old disgruntled TOS fans OR because of many other and not always sinister reasons. The show marks a milestone for the franchise, much like TNG did back in the day, and many fans just aren’t willing to go along because they no longer recognize the Trek they’re used to. They want TNG’s eternal optimism, DS9’s slightly less optimistic but still at the end idealistic ideas, or even VOY’s not-so-new approach. They just don’t WANT a shady and seemingly ruthless captain like Lorca who makes questionable decisions, they don’t want a mutineer like Burnham - they want 100% idealistic Starfleet officers who usually react to threats from the OUTSIDE, not the INSIDE.

It’s an understandable want - I’d probably want the same thing if I had grown up with 90s Trek and if I didn’t lack their deep love for the whole franchise. Discovery forces you to throw everything aside and look at Trek from a different perspective, and that is just something many fans don’t want to do.

The latest episode really didn’t help there either, what with Lorca leaving Mudd to rot in a Klingon prison cell or Saru politely declining to stop torturing a possibly sentient creature. It doesn’t FIT to the Trek folks are used to, not at first and not at second glance, and it gets worse for them with each episode because each episode seems to “cross a new line” and makes them want TNG 2.0 even more. But, as we both agree, something like that just wouldn’t fly today.

Since you've thought a lot about these characters, I'm curious what you think of my thesis: that it may be impossible to write nuanced, compelling, complex characters if those characters must also be stripped of any negative emotions or motivations as Roddenberry apparently intended.   

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21 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

My blog entry on the last two episodes: https://musingsofamiddleagedgeek.blog/2017/10/16/star-trek-discovery-episodes-1-4-the-butchers-knife-cares-not-for-the-lambs-cry-and-1-5-choose-your-pain/

And I second Mr. Picard; TNG (or any other incarnation of ST) is as ‘real’ as any other (yes, even my beloved, goofy TAS :P).   DSC is more gritty perhaps, but it’s no more or less ‘real’ than any other incarnation of ST. 

Nice reviews, Sehlat.

Slightly confused by L'Rell in the prison ship - I thought that was a different female Klingon of the same house. But maybe I got it wrong and need to watch again. Those masks look cool but hamper both character and actor expression.

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1 minute ago, Robin Bland said:

Nice reviews, Sehlat.

Slightly confused by L'Rell in the prison ship - I thought that was a different female Klingon of the same house. But maybe I got it wrong and need to watch again. Those masks look cool but hamper both character and actor expression.

Thanks.
Maybe I need to watch it again; you’re probably right.  Sadly, the masks (while beautifully made) are so completely encasing that the actors lose their individuality a bit.

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10 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

 

I guess we are on the same side here indeed for the most part - we both agree that TNG wouldn’t work today. ..

I dunno... I think it could. Doctor Who did 27 years of the classic show without any exploration of the lead characters' inner lives at all. When the show came back in 2005, it did nothing but that. if, for example, CBS said they were going to do a Picard mini-series or TV movie or something, can you imagine how into that Sir Patrick would be? A modern take on Picard, with all the psychological detail of a modern take on the character. I think it could be done, it would just take a lot of love and some great writing.

9 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Thanks.
Maybe I need to watch it again; you’re probably right.  Sadly, the masks (while beautifully made) are so completely encasing that the actors lose their individuality a bit.

The lips in particular make them look like Sontarans from the 70s. They don't seem to integrate the actor's own features very successfully into the make-up, and then they struggle to emote. Which is a shame, because I appreciate the depth they're trying to give these Klingons.

Edited by Robin Bland

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20 minutes ago, Justin Snead said:

   Since you've thought a lot about these characters, I'm curious what you think of my thesis: that it may be impossible to write nuanced, compelling, complex characters if those characters must also be stripped of any negative emotions or motivations as Roddenberry apparently intended.   

Since this is actually a Discovery episode topic I’ll keep the answer brief (feel free to bring this up in its own topic or send me a DM or something for a longer answer tho): It isn’t impossible to write such characters at first, but it is very difficult to make them work in the long run of a story. HOWEVER - this rule also prevents you from writing characters TOO dark since it makes you evaluate your work in the light of “is this still the optimistic future my show is set in”, which is a side effect that sounds very Roddenberry to me and probably also one that he intended.

In short: It’s absolutely the right basic idea for a show like TNG, but once you take it to extremes it becomes limiting (which is why the TNG writers did break free of it on more than one occasion). But as a basic idea for an optimistic space show a “guys, tune down the darkness, these characters are living in an optimistic future” can work, it works for me all the time when I write, I ALWAYS keep in mind that this is TNG - but not if you’re a writer who specializes in darker storylines, of course. Then you will struggle, and struggle a lot.

7 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I dunno... I think it could. Doctor Who did 27 years of the classic show without any exploration of the lead characters' inner lives at all. When the show came back in 2005, it did nothing but that. if, for example, CBS said they were going to do a Picard mini-series or TV movie or something, can you imagine how into that Sir Patric would be? A modern take on Picard, with all the psychological detail of a modern take on the character. I think it could be done, it would just take a lot of love and some great writing.

I’ve been working on stories that explore his character for almost 15 years so yeah I know it can be done, but you need someone who REALLY knows his character, not someone who watched TNG once or twice. (I still wouldn’t like the idea AT ALL, I do hope Sir Patrick never ever plays Jean-Luc again, but that’s a discussion for another day.) It’s what I said, though - a show that is done like TNG was wouldn’t fly today. A TNG that’s written like today’s shows are written might fly, but it would take a LOT of experienced writers who know each character inside and out and can expand them accordingly. It would not be a job for an “occasional fan” of the show who wrote a few Gary Stu or Mary Sue fan fics as a teenager.

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30 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

The lips in particular make them look like Sontarans from the 70s. They don't seem to integrate the actor's own features very successfully into the make-up, and then they struggle to emote. Which is a shame, because I appreciate the depth they're trying to give these Klingons.

They new Klingon look borders on Ice Warrior for lack of expression; I admire the actors for allowing any expression to come through all of that.

32 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

if, for example, CBS said they were going to do a Picard mini-series or TV movie or something, can you imagine how into that Sir Patric would be? A modern take on Picard, with all the psychological detail of a modern take on the character. I think it could be done, it would just take a lot of love and some great writing.

 

17 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

I’ve been working on stories that explore his character for almost 15 years so yeah I know it can be done, but you need someone who REALLY knows his character, not someone who watched TNG once or twice. (I still wouldn’t like the idea AT ALL, I do hope Sir Patrick never ever plays Jean-Luc again, but that’s a discussion for another day.) It’s what I said, though - a show that is done like TNG was wouldn’t fly today. A TNG that’s written like today’s shows are written might fly, but it would take a LOT of experienced writers who know each character inside and out and can expand them accordingly. It would not be a job for an “occasional fan” of the show who wrote a few Gary Stu or Mary Sue fan fics as a teenager.

^
This would be very interesting.   Kind of makes me wish that CBS All Access could peel off a few miniseries events relating to the ST universe.   Maybe even give TNG a proper ending that NEM didn’t quite deliver.

One more thing about “Choose Your Pain”;  I really liked the warmth of Dr. Culber.  He’s exactly the kind of humanistic character that would fit in ‘regular’ ST as well as he does in this slightly edgier interpretation.   He instantly allied with Burnham & Stamets regarding the treatment of the tardigrade, and I admire his ability to brush his teeth in the same mirror as his spouse (are they actually married?); that’s a trick even my wife and I haven’t mastered in 18 years together.  :laugh:

Though I was a bit surprised to hear that Culber wasn’t the Chief Medical Officer; who is, then? :confused:

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5 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

This would be very interesting.   Kind of makes me wish that CBS All Access could peel off a few miniseries events relating to the ST universe.   Maybe even give TNG a proper ending that NEM didn’t quite deliver.

The thing here is that this is a very thin line to dance on because you can mess this up in so many ways. It's one thing to write new characters (like the Discovery ones) and flesh them out as they grow with you, but it's another thing ENTIRELY to breathe this kind of life into a character who already EXISTS (and not just for an episode, but for seven seasons and four movies of a show) but was never given this kind of "deeper development" due to restrictions of several kinds. You literally have to be an EXPERT on the character or your attempts will fall flat and quickly end up in "out of character" territory. It SOUNDS easy, like something anyone can do who has watched enough TNG, but given how much/many nonsense/misinterpretations I read about Jean-Luc every day (at the moment a LOT of people are claiming he never swore on TNG, uh huh), this isn't easy at all. You not only have to know every episode almost by heart and be aware of every nuance of the character and have their voice in your head when you write scenes for them, you also have to INTERPRET things TNG established about this character and EXPAND them. It's NOT easy, AND you have to justify every "addition" to those who are opposed to your ideas - especially in the current social media climate of "we tear everything apart that doesn't conform to what WE think Star Trek has to be like".

Not to mention the fact that, if you do such a show, you also have Sir Patrick to deal with. He is an actor who brings as much as he can to a character, and the problem here would be that he hasn't played Jean-Luc in a long time and that his interpretation of him is... shaky at best by now. He still has the basics, sure, but he doesn't really KNOW much about Jean-Luc anymore, which represents a fundamental problem because Sir Patrick relies on a personal approach towards characters he plays. He and Jean-Luc almost became one person at some point (his therapist used to have a field day with this) but these times are LONG gone. Sir Patrick is a COMPLETELY different person these days. He is literally NOTHING like Jean-Luc anymore, he has moved SO far away from him that he would have to basically start from scratch again, and there would be a LOT of friction because he might NOT agree with some of the things you want for Jean-Luc to do or say, and even if they make perfect sense, Sir Patrick might put his foot down and start discussions (because Jean-Luc is important to him, bless him, he DID call Berman in the middle of the night when he had ideas, this is the kind of dedication you'd have to deal with here, this is NOT a one-way-street like fan fic, this time you have an actual actor at the other end of your writings, and a really good but also very stubborn one) and you might end up with nonsense because Jean-Luc was so close to him that Sir Patrick would automatically/instinctively try to develop Jean-Luc into a direction that mirrors his own, which... makes zero sense for Jean-Luc (see Insurrection and Nemesis for a glimpse of why this kind of direction is a very bad idea for Jean-Luc). This is one reason why I'd be fundamentally opposed to such a JLP series, btw. I'm also not sure if Sir Patrick would WANT this - to go back to Jean-Luc in this detailed manner. I can see a cameo, no problems there, give him a good reason to be there and he will, but a series focused on Jean-Luc where he ends up digging through endless JLP scenes in scripts again? I'm not sure he'd be down for that.

6 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

One more thing about “Choose Your Pain”;  I really liked the warmth of Dr. Culber.  He’s exactly the kind of humanistic character that would fit in ‘regular’ ST as well as he does in this slightly edgier interpretation.   He instantly allied with Burnham & Stamets regarding the treatment of the tardigrade, and I admire his ability to brush his teeth in the same mirror as his spouse (are they actually married?); that’s a trick even my wife and I haven’t mastered in 18 years together.  :laugh:

Though I was a bit surprised to hear that Culber wasn’t the Chief Medical Officer; who is, then? :confused:

Patience... patience... I'm sure we'll meet the CMO. ;) If there even IS one, that is.

I also enjoyed the short Stamets/Culber scene. I need to steal the toothbrush scene idea at some point, heh. I also love their matching pajamas. Aww. I like Culber as well although I definitely relate to Stamets a LOT more. He and I have some things in common, most notably our "meh, don't need" attitude towards emotions. :laugh: 

What I like about Stamets/Culber is that they introduced the characters separately and gave them life BEFORE they showed them as a couple. THIS is how you write this kind of thing, I approve very much. It's such a refreshing approach - I mean we all still cringe at the way Trek tended to be written when it comes to relationships. :P 

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3 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

Sir Patrick is a COMPLETELY different person these days.

Yes, but maybe he can bring those newer aspects of himself into the character as well (?).  I wouldn’t necessarily want to see a Jean-Luc Picard frozen in time from 1994’s interpretation; I’d like to see a Jean-Luc Picard who’s changed over the years...and into what, we don’t yet know.  

I’ll give you an example; I know you don’t watch science fiction movies, but Harrison Ford just revisited a role he hadn’t tackled in 35 years with “Blade Runner 2049.”  And instead of trying to play Deckard as the same person we saw in 1982, he portrayed a very different person who’d lived in relative isolation and off the grid.   He still ‘felt’ like the same man, but with a very different set of life circumstances over the years.  He had a bit more sardonic humor about him, and he was a bit ‘looser’ at times.  His clothes went from raincoats and Elvis Costello-type fashions to a t-shirt and ragged pants.

I could see a similar evolution for Picard.   Maybe he’s loosened up considerably since leaving Starfleet. 

And I would know that Sir Patrick is every inch the actor Ford is (more so, perhaps) and could easily take up the slack of Jean-Luc’s ‘missing years’ and put those into the character.   Maybe both men are at surprisingly similar points (?).   Maybe Picard is a bit sillier these days (much as Marina Sirtis’ Troi became closer and closer to the actress’ true self as the series wore on).

I’m not saying it will happen, of course (nor would Sir Patrick be interested).  But I’m saying he is so gifted an actor that he is more than up to the challenge of slipping on those old boots and fixing himself a fresh cup of "tea, Earl Grey, hot.”   Will he do it?  Doubtful; in interviews he doesn’t seem particularly interested.  Do I believe he could do it if willing?   Absolutely

3 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

Patience... patience... I'm sure we'll meet the CMO. ;) If there even IS one, that is.

Or...Culber could be facing an upcoming promotion. ;)

3 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I also enjoyed the short Stamets/Culber scene. I need to steal the toothbrush scene idea at some point, heh.

It felt properly domestic.   As a married person, I related; though my wife and I never brush our teeth simultaneously (except perhaps at conventions in hotels, on rare occasions).  :laugh:

3 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I also love their matching pajamas.

I assumed they were standard Starfleet issue (?).

3 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I like Culber as well although I definitely relate to Stamets a LOT more. He and I have some things in common, most notably our "meh, don't need" attitude towards emotions. :laugh: 

I’d definitely be the Culber; I’m a worrywart over my wife.   I ‘hover-husband’ sometimes (she has medical issues, and I tend to overcompensate; in fact, I would probably use a med-scanner on her when she’s not looking if we had one...).

3 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

What I like about Stamets/Culber is that they introduced the characters separately and gave them life BEFORE they showed them as a couple. THIS is how you write this kind of thing, I approve very much. It's such a refreshing approach - I mean we all still cringe at the way Trek tended to be written when it comes to relationships. :P 

The writing of “Choose Your Pain” was so solid; it was easily my favorite episode to date. 

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9 hours ago, Mr.Picard said:

I’ve been working on stories that explore his character for almost 15 years so yeah I know it can be done, but you need someone who REALLY knows his character, not someone who watched TNG once or twice. (I still wouldn’t like the idea AT ALL, I do hope Sir Patrick never ever plays Jean-Luc again, but that’s a discussion for another day.) It’s what I said, though - a show that is done like TNG was wouldn’t fly today. A TNG that’s written like today’s shows are written might fly, but it would take a LOT of experienced writers who know each character inside and out and can expand them accordingly. It would not be a job for an “occasional fan” of the show who wrote a few Gary Stu or Mary Sue fan fics as a teenager.

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. 

5 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Yes, but maybe he can bring those newer aspects of himself into the character as well (?).  I wouldn’t necessarily want to see a Jean-Luc Picard frozen in time from 1994’s interpretation; I’d like to see a Jean-Luc Picard who’s changed over the years...and into what, we don’t yet know.  

I’ll give you an example; I know you don’t watch science fiction movies, but Harrison Ford just revisited a role he hadn’t tackled in 35 years with “Blade Runner 2049.”  And instead of trying to play Deckard as the same person we saw in 1982, he portrayed a very different person who’d lived in relative isolation and off the grid.   He still ‘felt’ like the same man, but with a very different set of life circumstances over the years.  He had a bit more sardonic humor about him, and he was a bit ‘looser’ at times.  His clothes went from raincoats and Elvis Costello-type fashions to a t-shirt and ragged pants.

I could see a similar evolution for Picard.   Maybe he’s loosened up considerably since leaving Starfleet. 

And I would know that Sir Patrick is every inch the actor Ford is (more so, perhaps) and could easily take up the slack of Jean-Luc’s ‘missing years’ and put those into the character.   Maybe both men are at surprisingly similar points (?).   Maybe Picard is a bit sillier these days (much as Marina Sirtis’ Troi became closer and closer to the actress’ true self as the series wore on).

I’m not saying it will happen, of course (nor would Sir Patrick be interested).  But I’m saying he is so gifted an actor that he is more than up to the challenge of slipping on those old boots and fixing himself a fresh cup of "tea, Earl Grey, hot.”   Will he do it?  Doubtful; in interviews he doesn’t seem particularly interested.  Do I believe he could do it if willing?   Absolutely

 

This, essentially! :)

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10 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

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. 

I’m usually in the ‘if-it-ain’t-broke-why-fix-it’ camp (remember how I railed against a Blade Runner sequel?), but if done thoughtfully it could really be something to give TNG a proper reunion/sendoff.     Probably a bad idea, but there’s a sentimental side of me that would definitely be onboard with it.

10 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

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. 

Despite my current enjoyment of DSC, I’m still wishing it were set post-VGR as well.   That way, it wouldn’t have to keep ‘minding the ceiling’ of previous continuity...

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Just now, Sehlat Vie said:

I’m usually in the ‘if-it-ain’t-broke-why-fix-it’ camp (remember how I railed against a Blade Runner sequel?),

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.  

Just now, Sehlat Vie said:

 

...but if done thoughtfully it could really be something to give TNG a proper reunion/sendoff.     Probably a bad idea, but there’s a sentimental side of me that would definitely be onboard with it.

Head of CBS: "Ron Moore says he's interested."  Just imagine... 

Just now, Sehlat Vie said:

Despite my current enjoyment of DSC, I’m still wishing it were set post-VGR as well.   That way, tt wouldn’t have to keep ‘minding the ceiling’ of previous continuity...

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. 

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13 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Yes, but maybe he can bring those newer aspects of himself into the character as well (?).  I wouldn’t necessarily want to see a Jean-Luc Picard frozen in time from 1994’s interpretation; I’d like to see a Jean-Luc Picard who’s changed over the years...and into what, we don’t yet know.  

I’ll give you an example; I know you don’t watch science fiction movies, but Harrison Ford just revisited a role he hadn’t tackled in 35 years with “Blade Runner 2049.”  And instead of trying to play Deckard as the same person we saw in 1982, he portrayed a very different person who’d lived in relative isolation and off the grid.   He still ‘felt’ like the same man, but with a very different set of life circumstances over the years.  He had a bit more sardonic humor about him, and he was a bit ‘looser’ at times.  His clothes went from raincoats and Elvis Costello-type fashions to a t-shirt and ragged pants.

I could see a similar evolution for Picard.   Maybe he’s loosened up considerably since leaving Starfleet. 

And I would know that Sir Patrick is every inch the actor Ford is (more so, perhaps) and could easily take up the slack of Jean-Luc’s ‘missing years’ and put those into the character.   Maybe both men are at surprisingly similar points (?).   Maybe Picard is a bit sillier these days (much as Marina Sirtis’ Troi became closer and closer to the actress’ true self as the series wore on).

I’m not saying it will happen, of course (nor would Sir Patrick be interested).  But I’m saying he is so gifted an actor that he is more than up to the challenge of slipping on those old boots and fixing himself a fresh cup of "tea, Earl Grey, hot.”   Will he do it?  Doubtful; in interviews he doesn’t seem particularly interested.  Do I believe he could do it if willing?   Absolutely

 

Oh yes, one would have to bring in new aspects if we want an older Jean-Luc Picard. The problem is to bring aspects that make sense for his character (this is NOT easy either, he is a complicated man) and that don't look rushed or like as if they're coming out of the blue. (Dune buggy scenes, anyone?) You can't just throw a much older Jean-Luc Picard at people who is fundamentally different without any kind of explanation as to how he got there. Or, even if you give explanations, people might still not accept them. For example - I've turned him into a family man who even eventually ends up choosing to leave Starfleet and become an ambassador because his husband makes him realize that their young son sends out desperate signals that he needs to grow up on a planet and interact with other children, not on a starship where he has tons of aunts and uncles but not really many children to play with and where a holodeck is the only thing that can give him SOME kind of resemblance to nature. But it took a long while to GET there, and it took a long while to make it believable and yet I still had readers telling me "I'm so sad now, how could you, why can't he be a captain forever". What I mean by this: Don't underestimate peoples' nostalgia and their need to see the Jean-Luc Picard they saw when they were growing up. Like I said, I do agree that an older Jean-Luc would be different from the one we know, but the challenge is to make the direction make sense. He needs to still be recognizable, and you can't do that if you don't know what he used to be like. That's where I'm saying the problems would originate from. Of course I don't doubt Sir Patrick's abilities to shape an older Jean-Luc - but first he would have to have detailed knowledge as to what Jean-Luc used to be like before he starts shaping an older version. I was only starting with the BASICS. The fact that an older Jean-Luc is different now comes in AFTER the whole process I described, lol. I was only at Step One. :laugh: (This is what I mean when I say "this is very, very complicated and a long process that needs to be thought out excessively to make sense".) It really is easier to start over with new characters. Taking established ones is ALWAYS risky, complicated and a path filled with trap over trap along the way.

28 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

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. 

 

I'd offer my services but I doubt they'd want to bother with Stubborn "I know this man inside and out, here is a speech as to why background scene number 2043857 has him doing this and that, oh and here let me also write an essay on this one second in which he makes this and that face" Me. :laugh: (Besides, CBS and I have that one fundamental 'pansexual instead of heterosexual' character interpretation difference that I doubt they would agree to allow me to explore, and I wouldn't agree to be on board to help anyone write a strictly!heterosexual!Jean-Luc Picard, and there you go, things fall apart already.)

36 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

 

I assumed they were standard Starfleet issue (?).

 

They are, but they wouldn't HAVE to both wear Starfleet issue pajamas. They could just as easily wear t-shirts and boxers, and yet they choose to wear matching Starfleet pajamas. Also I hope we see Lorca in one although I doubt he wears it... he probably sleeps in his uniform. :laugh:

22 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Despite my current enjoyment of DSC, I’m still wishing it were set post-VGR as well.   That way, it wouldn’t have to keep ‘minding the ceiling’ of previous continuity...

Me, too. It would REALLY rock if DSC was set WAY past Nemesis. Like, at least a century. They could easily have made the Klingons the antagonists (again) as well and they could have made the ship look even more modern, and well, maybe captains like Lorca are en vogue in the 25th century, so what, no need to argue about him not "fitting in with other captains of the time" either. It would have been the MUCH easier route to take. It could have spared the fandom a lot of arguments, too.

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I'll pile on about reunion specials. I must be flush with excitement for all the quality and prestige of DSC, but if all goes well, in a few years I could imagine it likely we would get Trek mini series and two hour movies, and holiday specials. Not to mention the possibility of past characters and their living actors (or for the non-living, their holographic avatars) appearing on DSC.

With TNG, I don't see how they could screw it up--though I hear Mr Picard's legitimate concerns. There would be so much good will and good vides going toward that project from all involved--not to mention a pulling away of a lot of the usual Hollywood pressures that you have on a summer blockbuster--that the special would work like gangbusters. And the DSC writers room are so stepped in canon and pat Trek, no doubt they could pull it off. And let's face it, the franchise simply must send them off better than the films did. The plot would be a challenge, and it would probably feel a lot like the future scenes of All Good Things. 

But while we are considering giving people a proper send off, where does that stop? The character who needs a better goodbye is Kirk, and here DSC may be able to pull this off. For all the Burnham-Spock connection, the pst character she would most benefit from a conversation with is Kirk. I think they are a lot alike. Maybe they could do time travel or parallel universe travel to get old Kirk into the show. Or they should use the holographic comm system to have Burnham speak with present day young Kirk voiced by Shatner. 

There are always possibilities... especially if DSC is really successful.       

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22 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Nice reviews, Sehlat.

Slightly confused by L'Rell in the prison ship - I thought that was a different female Klingon of the same house. But maybe I got it wrong and need to watch again. Those masks look cool but hamper both character and actor expression.

@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.

 

 

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I know I'm in the minority here, and I'll repeat myself but... anybody has found a GIF of Ash Tyler double fist-punching a Klingon?

I just feel like it needs to happen. :)

Edited by Tupperfan

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31 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

@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.

Nice to hear!  Whew!  I was seriously questioning my already shaky powers of observation...:laugh:

 

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20 minutes ago, Tupperfan said:

I know I'm in the minority here, and I'll repeat myself but... anybody has found a GIF of Ash Tyler's double fist-punching a Klingon?

I just feel like it needs to happen. :)

giphy.gif

 

1 hour ago, Justin Snead said:

I'll pile on about reunion specials. I must be flush with excitement for all the quality and prestige of DSC, but if all goes well, in a few years I could imagine it likely we would get Trek mini series and two hour movies, and holiday specials. Not to mention the possibility of past characters and their living actors (or for the non-living, their holographic avatars) appearing on DSC.

With TNG, I don't see how they could screw it up--though I hear Mr Picard's legitimate concerns. There would be so much good will and good vides going toward that project from all involved--not to mention a pulling away of a lot of the usual Hollywood pressures that you have on a summer blockbuster--that the special would work like gangbusters. And the DSC writers room are so stepped in canon and pat Trek, no doubt they could pull it off. And let's face it, the franchise simply must send them off better than the films did. The plot would be a challenge, and it would probably feel a lot like the future scenes of All Good Things. 

...

Oooooooooooooh, I wannit, I wannit, I wannit

1 hour ago, Justin Snead said:

There are always possibilities... especially if DSC is really successful.       

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.

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I know I'm chiming in late. Did a repeated viewing of the episode here:

I liked the touch of the episode by recognizing other Starfleet captains, although there perhaps should be some that weren't mentioned as some have said. Not to mention it's the first time Robert April has been mentioned outside of TAS, which further cements him into being canon. A nice touch is Matt Decker, who Kirk looked up to prior to his fatal error in "The Doomsday Machine."

Some things I liked in this episode is the admiral's concern about taking Burnham under his wing, that there are many among Starfleet who don't think it's a good idea. They're not going to just simply "follow suit" and just accept that Burnham is now a crewmember (albeit with no rank at this point in time) on Discovery and not rotting away in prison. That's actually a good thing that they hung a lantern over that.

The big thing about this is the tardigrade. Once seen as an essential component for use of the spore drive, it's discovered that they can't exploit it, and that this beast is in fact quite sentient. Saru at first can't comprehend and just wants the spore drive to work but he does have a change of heart and orders Burnham to save its life, which she does. However, it's found out that Stamets injected himself with it and linked himself with the spore drive. Must have been painful.

What Lorca did with the Buran's crew is indeed something that is uneasy. He sacrificed his own ship and his own crew, scuttling them, mostly since a quick death was preferable to dying under slow Klingon torture. That's going to be something that probably will come back to haunt the captain down the line. As you know, he doesn't seem exactly a paragon; he's definitely got some renegade in him beyond the shadow of a doubt.

And Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Nice introduction to him. He has some of the mannerisms of his TOS counterpart, and he has been exploiting his cellmates to keep him alive. Now that his two recent ones have escaped, it looks like he might have to face some punishment of his own. Although we do know he survives, without getting disfigured or such (although he may have swindled a reputable plastic surgeon!).

I like others was a bit surprised at the dropping of the F-bomb in the series. Something that they couldn't do on the networks. Didn't expect to see it; I would have expected it has they decided to do unnecessary unrated director's cuts of ST09 reboot and its two sequels, but not this.

Don't mind much about the gay relationship.

Though I'm trying to wrap my head around the scene at the end. Stamets walks away from the mirror, but the mirror image shows him standing there for a few seconds before he walks away, with ominous music. Something isn't as it seems. I know one speculation I had was that Stamets when using himself as a navigator for the spore drive is that he was replaced with a "mirror universe" version of himself (and I know there is supposed to be a Mirror Universe episode down the line of Discovery).

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