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Episode 1.7: "Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad" Discussion Thread

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3 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Yeah, I saw that yesterday.  

Looks like a futuristic frat/sorority mixer, but Tilly is still a cadet, so... :laugh:

She's pretty cute, so she gets a pass. ;) 

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I'm disappointed, I expected Star Trek parties to be full of Jazz and people drinking synthehol. I always admired the serious way the officers portraied themselves while on duty.

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1 hour ago, prometheus59650 said:

She's pretty cute, so she gets a pass. ;) 

She's adorable.   So help me, if I were (very) young and single?  I’d be #TeamTilly for sure...;)

46 minutes ago, Garak the spy said:

I'm disappointed, I expected Star Trek parties to be full of Jazz and people drinking synthehol. I always admired the serious way the officers portraied themselves while on duty.

Well, those Star Treks took place a century later.  And the people of the 24th century are supposed to be more ‘evolved’ than the more rough-and-tumble folks of the 23rd (think Bones & Spock’s bickering, for example).  

Not to mention the Enterprise was the pride of the fleet; the flagship.  Disco is an experimental science vessel; so I see Disco’s crew more like a bunch of Caltech students who are suddenly drafted into the navy.   The Enterprise’s crew were supposed to be the best of the best.   It’s not surprising that discipline there is a lot tighter. 

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7 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

She's adorable.   So help me, if I were (very) young and single?  I’d be #TeamTilly for sure...;)

Well, those Star Treks took place a century later.  And the people of the 24th century are supposed to be more ‘evolved’ than the more rough-and-tumble folks of the 23rd (think Bones & Spock’s bickering, for example).  

Not to mention the Enterprise was the pride of the fleet; the flagship.  Disco is an experimental science vessel; so I see Disco’s crew more like a bunch of Caltech students who are suddenly drafted into the navy.   The Enterprise’s crew were supposed to be the best of the best.   It’s not surprising that discipline there is a lot tighter. 

That actually makes sense. Ds9 and Voyager waren't any flagships and they still behaved according to starfleet standards though.

About Tilly: I'm not sold yet. I don't know why but I think she feels forced.

Ezri didn't feel forced.

I'm just saying... :P

Edited by Garak the spy

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12 minutes ago, Garak the spy said:

That actually makes sense. Ds9 and Voyager waren't any flagships and they still behaved according to starfleet standards though.

Yes, but remember; DS9 and VGR also take place a century later, in the more ‘evolved’ 24th century...;)

12 minutes ago, Garak the spy said:

About Tilly: I'm not sold yet. I don't know why but I think she feels forced.

What may seem forced is because she’s socially awkward; and if I had to guess, I’m thinking (?) the actress is portraying Tilly as someone on the autistic spectrum.  I have some experience with autism (my godson) and Tilly definitely seems (to me) like she might be on the spectrum; highly intelligent, but with that characteristic awkwardness in certain social interactions, and an occasional lack of a ‘filter’ (the ability to self-censor).

That may explain why her behavior seems forced; it’s probably intentional on the actress’ part (if she is, as I suspect, playing someone on the autism spectrum).

Tilly reminds me of so many people I’ve known in my lifetime.   Maybe it’s why I find her so relatable. 

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15 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

What may seem forced is because she’s socially awkward; and if I had to guess, I’m thinking (?) the actress is portraying Tilly as someone on the autistic spectrum.  I have some experience with autism (my godson) and Tilly definitely seems (to me) like she might be on the spectrum; highly intelligent, but with that characteristic awkwardness in certain social interactions, and an occasional lack of a ‘filter’ (the ability to self-censor).

That may explain why her behavior seems forced; it’s probably intentional on the actress’ part (if she is, as I suspect, playing someone on the autism spectrum).

Tilly reminds me of so many people I’ve known in my lifetime.   Maybe it’s why I find her so relatable. 

This. I've known people like her as well, and, especially with women on the spectrum, in part because women seem to be more socially conditioned that being sociable in all situations is an expected behavior, they tend to...push through it physically to push through it mentally by speaking quickly or moving rapidly from this activity. They're trying to check all the boxes of the social situation.

It feels forced, because, if Wiseman is playing Tilly as somewhere on the spectrum it kind of IS forced in real life.

She's playing the character wonderfully, IMHO. 

 

What's more though, while I'm not a party person by any stretch, 24th century parties on Trek always felt...stuffy. They felt like the First-Class dinner party in Titanic.

DSC's party feels like one in steerage...and I kind of prefer that. Not that I'd stay at either long. 

Edited by prometheus59650

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6 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

What's more though, while I'm not a party person by any stretch, 24th century parties on Trek always felt...stuffy. They felt like the First-Class dinner party in Titanic.

DSC's party feels like one in steerage...and I kind of prefer that. Not that I'd stay at either long. 

^
Kinda this, yeah.

I’m not a rowdy party-animal person, either.  I prefer get togethers with a small group of friends (usually maxing out around 8 or 10, at most).  But yeah, formal dinners/parties on the 1701 and the Ent-D always seem more like the kind of party you’re dragged to, not the kind you actually want to attend. 

Like I said before, the crew of Disco (previously a pure science vessel) seem more like youthful Caltech students having a rowdy good time instead of the top-of-the-line officers serving aboard the flagship...

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They manage to make Tilly less likable for me with each episode, it’s almost amazing. I’m sorry, but she’s still the kind of person I’d desperately try to stay away from. The young fans on Tumblr absolutely love her though, so, the writers are doing something right... just not for me. lol

I detest parties of any kind but if I absolutely had to attend one I’d pick the formal one because that one at least has rules. I’d loathe the terrible jazz music and the stuffy atmosphere but it’s still better than drunk people scaring me (they make me very uncomfortable for a number of reasons). I’d absolutely hate either one though, I’ve never understood the purpose of parties, they’re the absolute opposite of what I would consider “having a good time”. 

Btw the actress who plays Tilly has stated that she is NOT supposed to be on the spectrum and that she isn’t playing her like as if she was. 

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10 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

Btw the actress who plays Tilly has stated that she is NOT supposed to be on the spectrum and that she isn’t playing her like as if she was. 

^  That’s very interesting, because she really does on-the-spectrum very convincingly.  I would commend her on her subtlety, but hearing that I withdraw my commendation... :laugh:

12 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

I detest parties of any kind but if I absolutely had to attend one I’d pick the formal one because that one at least has rules. I’d loathe the terrible jazz music and the stuffy atmosphere but it’s still better than drunk people scaring me (they make me very uncomfortable for a number of reasons). I’d absolutely hate either one though, I’ve never understood the purpose of parties, they’re the absolute opposite of what I would consider “having a good time”. 

^ I prefer small gatherings myself, so I understand where you’re coming from.

12 minutes ago, Mr.Picard said:

They manage to make Tilly less likable for me with each episode, it’s almost amazing. I’m sorry, but she’s still the kind of person I’d desperately try to stay away from. The young fans on Tumblr absolutely love her though, so, the writers are doing something right... just not for me. lol

I’m old, but I like her...:P

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16 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I’m old, but I like her...:P

Seconded. :)

Knowing girls like her...most of them were cool being awkward with me so we hung out so we could both say we were "at the party" without all the beer pong. ;)

 

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The actual issue with that party scene is that, for a show that really wanted to showcase diversity, it's just displays that the 23rd century Federation is still an American-centric civilization that didn't really culturally evolve beyond the early 21st century. Hey, I have no problem with blowing off some steam, especially given the war going on. After all, we saw some sloppy drunkenness in shows like BSG, and it always felt appropriate. But yes, the 24th century "parties" we saw were indeed mostly quite stuffy (except maybe for Jadzia's bachelorette bash), so I'm all in for anything a little wilder.

But in this case, unless it's some kind of late 20th/early 21st century-themed retro party, all the cultural elements feel truly out of place and anachronistic, and it honestly takes me out of the universe (which seems to be a progressively intentional thing by TPTB at ST:Discovery). Is Beer Pong truly that much of a staple that its legacy will last for over two centuries?!? Come on! It's not even the most fun drinking game at any given self-respecting party, and these games get old seconds after you realize you can enjoy drinking and social settings without getting hammered once you hit something like 22 or, in my case, 35. And don't get me wrong, I love Wyclef Jean, but will he be one of the few artists of our time to transcend the centuries? I mean, they already quoted the Beatles and these boys have a slightly better chance. And even then, I'm not sure.

So yeah, I'll wait before I judge, as usual, but Discovery seems to have enough annoying bits, tidbits really - mostly - that it sometimes feels like the writers/producers put them in just to see how some old-timers will react, just for shit and giggles while they inundate us with lens flares, because we also love that. 

I mean, how many times have they been teasing us with familiar nods while also pushing the boundaries of what should realistically be expected from the time this show is set in?

I'll keep watching, because there are elements I really like, but like many here (and elsewhere), I'm starting to put Discovery aside, canon-wise. I just hope it won't fall in the parody-well where the first two Kelvin-verse Treks are.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Tupperfan said:

The actual issue with that party scene is that, for a show that really wanted to showcase diversity, it's just displays that the 23rd century Federation is still an American-centric civilization that didn't really culturally evolve beyond the early 21st century.

That's really where Star Trek's future has always been. "Federation standard" = 'English.' Federation values = American values presented from an American perspective, sometimes cribbing things nearly verbatim from the US Constitution to create the Federation law of the land.

Hell, even Jean-Luc is the subject of some mockery early on as though French culture is simply an amusing fetish that people are just sort of hanging onto by the 24th century.

Now, that boils down to the fact that Star Trek as a product is a product of American writers, an American production team, etc, but the fact remains that DSC is Americentric because the Federation is and, even by the 24th century doesn't pretend to be much else.

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2 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

That's really where Star Trek's future has always been. "Federation standard" = 'English.' Federation values = American values presented from an American perspective, sometimes cribbing things nearly verbatim from the US Constitution to create the Federation law of the land.

Hell, even Jean-Luc is the subject of some mockery early on as though French culture is simply an amusing fetish that people are just sort of hanging onto by the 24th century.

Now, that boils down to the fact that Star Trek as a product is a product of American writers, an American production team, etc, but the fact remains that DSC is Americentric because the Federation is and, even by the 24th century doesn't pretend to be much else.

^
This is, for better or worse, true.

Even though the new series is shot in Toronto and uses some Canadian actors (hell, even TOS had Shatner & Doohan), it’s still an American-based franchise.  

Personally, as a child of North American & European-born parents, I do sometimes wish the show would try to ‘branch out’ a bit beyond that identity, but then again, it might also alter the series’ DNA as well.

“Doctor Who”, for example, is about a time/space-traveling alien from the planet Gallifrey, yet the series is about as British as tea & scones near Piccadilly Circus.   And that’s part of its inherent charm; I’d NEVER want to change that.   The series’ British identity is part of what makes it special and unique.

So perhaps a somewhat American-centric Star Trek is just a side-effect of 51 years of being ‘made in America.’ 

7 hours ago, prometheus59650 said:

 

Knowing girls like her...most of them were cool being awkward with me so we hung out so we could both say we were "at the party" without all the beer pong. ;)

Sounds like how I spent most of my bachelor days...:laugh:

 

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2 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

This is, for better or worse, true.

Even though the new series is shot in Toronto and uses some Canadian actors (hell, even TOS had Shatner & Doohan), it’s still an American-based franchise.  

Personally, as a child of North American & European-born parents, I do sometimes wish the show would try to ‘branch out’ a bit beyond that identity, but then again, it might also alter the series’ DNA as well.

“Doctor Who”, for example, is about a time/space-traveling alien from the planet Gallifrey, yet the series is about as British as tea & scones near Piccadilly Circus.   And that’s part of its inherent charm; I’d NEVER want to change that.   The series’ British identity is part of what makes it special and unique.

So perhaps a somewhat American-centric Star Trek is just a side-effect of 51 years of being ‘made in America.’ 

Exactly so.

Dr. Who is uniquely British, and probably the best example of, what I suppose is...nationalism in art. Take that away from Who and it becomes something very different.

2 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

ounds like how I spent most of my bachelor days...:laugh:

 

1

LOL.

Was easier that way in retrospect for a socially awkward sci-fi geek. Either we sat back in the corner and chatted amiably without being dragged into all the...raucous. Or there were a couple of girls happy to chatter while I listened and responded when they stopped to take a breath.

Never seemed to have a problem making female friends. It was the...more... that felt weird for a while. :)

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9 minutes ago, prometheus59650 said:

Never seemed to have a problem making female friends. It was the...more... that felt weird for a while. :)

Think that’s why audiences, young & old (IMO anyway) relate to Tilly; we’ve all been that awkward person; just trying to fit in.  

She’s arguably ST’s most perfect audience avatar ever.

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I haven’t watched the scene yet (I’ll wait to see it the context of the show) but another vote here for Tilly. Easily one of the most endearing characters on DISCO so far. 

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Corylea   

I thought of Mr. Picard numerous times during this episode, given his fears about Lorca.  But in spite of dying 53 times, Lorca makes it to the end of the episode. :laugh:

I'm too sleepy to say anything substantive about the episode tonight, but I wanted Mr. Picard to know I was thinking of him. :)

 

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Dark matter anti-personnel bombs? Lorca is quite the hobbyist.

Mudd continues to impress, but it looks like he'll be gone for a while.

And I continue to love Stamets. His dancing with Burnam was sweet, and she takes a few more steps towards opening up.

 

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Hmmm... that was DISCO's 'The Naked Now' except not as good.

More coherent thoughts tomorrow... Stamets is great though!

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11 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Hmmm... that was DISCO's 'The Naked Now' except not as good.

More coherent thoughts tomorrow... Stamets is great though!

Yeah, this was my first full-on disappointment with a DISCO episode.   If they’re going to retcon Mudd into some kind of a half-a$$ed Khan-level villain?  Then do one more retcon and kill him off.  I’m officially sick of him now (no offense to Rainn Wilson). 

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Yorick   

This episode dated Stardate 2136 point something takes place after Mudd's Women, Stardate 1329. I thought they were going to get it right way back in episode one when when the Stardate was 12 something. It's a minor, trivial thing but that makes it a minor, trivial effort to avoid. It's just typing. With Mudd now a bit crazed and deadly, there should be none of that prime timeline guff any more, not unless there's something mighty weird and wild coming the a universe near you before the show ends. That said, I'm enjoying the show! 

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In terms of “We’re not breaking canon, honest,” I can usually hand wave things away if the story’s worth it. But this episode seemed to go out of it way to be deliberately annoying. Except it’s more disappointing than annoying. (Yet it does lend credence to my theory that we’re in a third timeline and not the “true” prime timeline yet. Boy, I hope I’m right, just so stuff like the events of this episode makes some kind of sense.) 

I mean, who cares, right, showrunners? Why should anyone care about breaking canon? Because canon is why many of us we love these fictional universes. The details, be they stardates, the design aesthetics of starships, or the way certain characters behave - it does all count towards the audience’s ability to immerse itself in the sense of belief in this world. And if you consistently, continually break it, we’re going to give up, the ratings wil go down and nobody happy. Bend it, warp it, stretch it, but don’t break the contract of good canonicity. 

That said, what else? Come back Brannon Braga, all is forgiven. If you’re going to take the hoary old concept of a time loop, be sure you’re going to do something new with it. What in this ep was not done better in TNG’s Cause and Effect? 

The character stuff at the party, I guess, some of which was kind of fun. I really wanted to like the whole thing more than I did though - it got old pretty fast. It was nice to see Burnham lightening up - as more and more of her Vulcan upbringing comes to light, the more sense her character makes. Unfortunately - and I’m just going to come out with this now - she’s really kind of dull. Look, even Spock has a waspish sense of humor. Certainly a sense of irony and always the ability to deflect stray emotional observations. Seeing her warm up to Ash was nice, and about time. Hearing her personal log entry was a great little narrative device to get more of a sense of her. 

The good: Stamets, Tyler, Tilly. I really like Stamets - Anthony Rapp took what he was given and, in performance, fashioned a full silk purse from it. When he dances with Burnham, I’m yelling at the screen, “Yes! Loosen her up!” Every time he appeared, the episode got better, even if some of the pacing in these scenes was odd. (Even if you’re in a time loop, shouldn’t there be a sense of urgency?) Same for Tyler - if he’s a Klingon spy, then they’ll be taking another of the show’s best assets and throwing it away. His charisma did so much to give those scenes both warmth and a sense of danger. Tilly also - her sweet, emotionally intelligent steering of  Burnham was just great. 

All the regulars are good. Lorca is great, Saru (not used enough), the glimpse we get of Dr. Culber. They all wring freshness out of this stale, tedious stuff with every iteration of the “No consequences” loop that they can. Rainn Wilson gives this version of Mudd all the sharp psycho angles this script seems to call for. I mean, how else to play him? He’s written like a supervillain from the hokiest mid-70s Marvel comic you ever read. Nothing wrong with that, in a Marvel comic, but in the TOS-era Trek universe? Starfleet should be forever on high alert when this guy shows up - he’s now up there with Q for bedvilry and mayhem. If Kirk ever encounters him, he should— oh, wait...

Please, no more Mudd. Enough already. He’s not as charming or engaging as you think he is.

This episode had me yearning for last week’s faux-psychological depth, which at least gave us some good conversation. This hackneyed stuff doesn’t cut it in 2017. 

Please do better, DISCO. We want a glitter ball and a funky bassline, not a wasted opportunity, especially not one repeated throughout every act of the teleplay. 

Do I have to mention the space whale? I’m not mentioning the space whale, or its case of indigestion. Someone else can do that. 

7 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Yeah, this was my first full-on disappointment with a DISCO episode.   If they’re going to retcon Mudd into some kind of a half-a$$ed Khan-level villain?  Then do one more retcon and kill him off.  I’m officially sick of him now (no offense to Rainn Wilson). 

I completely agree. This wasn’t Mudd. This second appearance bore no resemblance to the character from TOS. Why do it? Why even bother? 

Wow, I’m almost on tenterhooks seeing what Trendacosta is going to say about this one... 

4 hours ago, Yorick said:

This episode dated Stardate 2136 point something takes place after Mudd's Women, Stardate 1329. I thought they were going to get it right way back in episode one when when the Stardate was 12 something. It's a minor, trivial thing but that makes it a minor, trivial effort to avoid. It's just typing. With Mudd now a bit crazed and deadly, there should be none of that prime timeline guff any more, not unless there's something mighty weird and wild coming the a universe near you before the show ends. That said, I'm enjoying the show! 

It’s a tiny detail, but yes, it’s just research. They should have a secretarial someone on the show checking and making sure these kinds of details fit. 

Mostly, I’m enjoying it. This episode was the first serious clunker for me. 

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