How is/isn't Discovery Star Trek?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by seigezunt, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    I hope you're right, but I think we'll have to wait until next season to see. I'm not convinced Burnham exists as a character yet, much less grew as one. At the beginning of the season, I couldn't tell if she was supposed to be a stoic pseudo-Vulcan, an impulsive human, a person haunted by past trauma, a well-adjusted Starfleet officer .... At the end of the season, I still had no sense of her. The climax is basically her doing another "Burnham knows best," which is exactly where we started.

    Other than the brief encounters with Tilly, there was precious little character work for her. Or for most of the other characters, for that matter -- the writers just moved them like chess pieces. Stamets is the most egregious example, but it's true across the board.
     
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  2. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Moddin’ Moderator

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    I didn't complain about TNG, it just didn't have much character development in comparison to modern shows. It wasn't that common back then and I even pointed out that Picard is really the only character who has development, which you for some reason then used as an example of actual development. I assume that you didn't read or care to understand my argument. Geordi got moved up to Chief Engineer and Data was on a merry go round of development where he conveniently forgot the previous development. It's not really an arc, it's a problem with episodic television. Data needs to stay the emotionless robot who wants to be human and can never fully achieve his goal. They didn't even give him the emotion chip until the movies because they didn't want to confuse new or casual viewers about why the robot suddenly has emotions. It's why there's a Captain's Log at the intro of all commercial breaks, to remind viewers of what's happening because they may have just changed to it. It's not a complaint, it's just the nature of television at the time. People tend to binge shows now, so they focus more on the story and characters and development is dragged out and maintained over the show because that's just the nature of television now. Discovery is meant to be viewed as one story with more focus on the characters, TNG is meant to be viewed as multiple stories that focuses more on the current story than the characters.
     
  3. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually I merely pointed out the Borg thing wasn’t over and done with by the next episode.
    I don’t think TnG had no character develop,ent, I also don’t really think it’s fair to say that’s how TV worked back then. It’s just more subtle than now.
    DSC is a bit mirrored, in that much of what was subtle is now telegraphed hard, and what might have been more obvious in older Treks is now subtle...possibly far too subtle.
    I also think to dismiss TNG as having no character development for its characters is also the same kind of ignoring things to suit an argument. It’s even more pronounced in later shows, which have obvious character development, much more overt.
     
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  4. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    If you are going to make a blanket, unchallenged statement about my country, would you mind explaining that in detail?
     
  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed. I think I can point more to DSC as a product of the 2010s Star Trek.
    Same. Star Trek II nets a solid C grade from me for that reason alone.
    Exactly.
    Star Trek. Possibly a future Stargate series.

    Not BSG for sure.

    Can we not? I think that belongs in TNZ and will end up in a fight and getting this thread locked sooner than it probably will any way.
     
  6. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    thats all i am pointing out.
     
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  7. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It’s the Picard!
     
  8. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure what a Custodian Quitting a Custard Diet has to do with the discussion at hand?
    :whistle:
    :p
    :biggrin:
     
  9. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Since Nemesis takes place in 2379 and the Picard Series (I'm guessing it's going to be Star Trek: Destiny) will take place in 2399, I figured I'd compare them to the '79 and '99 of our own time. So that's why I chose them.

    You have a point about similarities between 1979 and 1999 in broad strokes -- very broad -- but as far as the late-20th Century goes, the '70s, '80s, and '90s could not be more different from each other stylistically and pop-culturally.

    Also, by 1999 most people (at least in America) had a computer and many were getting on the Internet by this point. I'd probably say the tipping point was the mid-'90s between the Internet being for "nerds" and "normal people" using it.

    Musically, my peers didn't care about The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. I was in the Class of '97. It was all about Boyz II Men. If you liked rock, it was Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam. If you liked rap, it was Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur (who just died). The Spice Girls and Hanson were big on the pop end. My preferences were Nine Inch Nails, White Zombie, and Alanis Morissette. Most of us listened to music on CDs, not on records. Cassettes were on their last leg. The '90s aren't like Today but they were also definitely not like the '60s or '70s either.

    This I agree with. It'll be interesting to find out what happened while we weren't looking.

    I think The Picard Series will really be Star Trek's version of The Force Awakens. TV is Star Trek's true home and, after doing prequels, they're now back to continuations.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  10. cultcross

    cultcross A long time ago in a Galilee far far away Moderator

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    To me, the essence of what makes something ‘Star Trek’ is not to do with optimistic outlook or happy endings – there’s plenty of Trek without both. I also think ‘exploration’ is a vastly overstated part of Trek’s history. I think the ‘essence of Star Trek’ falls into three categories – sometimes seen simultaneously, sometimes not:

    1) Star Trek is a Space Opera action adventure show set in space, with mysteries, plenty of good guys and bad guys, weird technology, aliens and more speeches and moralising than you might reasonably expect from the format.

    2) Star Trek looks at issues of today or the past through a different lens to make a point about them or ask a question.

    3) Star Trek does emotional, heart wrenching episodes about people, that don’t really have a message or a meaning, but are powerful in their own right.


    So, do I consider Discovery to be Star Trek?


    It certainly hits my point 1. Discovery is an action adventure show and quite a fun one at that. Even when it makes very little sense, it maintains a sense of problem-solving-in-space with a good bit of tech the tech and a side order of inappropriate speechifying. That’s Trek in the TOS sense, and was plenty visible through the Berman era too.



    Point 2 - This is the contentious one for me. DSC has set out down a lot of really interesting paths. We’ve had PTSD, we’ve had sexual assault (on a male by a female), we’ve had imperialism, brinksmanship, torture, tribalism; we’ve had racism, we’ve had trust and betrayal, we’ve had ‘do the ends justify the means’, we’ve had inter arma enim silent leges, we’ve skirted the edges of populism. But we just can’t seem to close the deal on many (any?) of these. The main arc with Burnham’s attitude toward her ‘enemy’ is resolved, and in a pretty Treky way too. “Who you thought was your enemy is not once you get to know them” goes all the way back to The Corbomite Manoeuvre, especially coupled with “we have to be who we say we are”. Choose Your Pain had a Devil in the Dark/The Quality of Life storyline about the tardigrade which again went to the Trek formula. But that’s about it. Most other threads are left as just that – threads. We were missing the perhaps lower key episodes where they took one of the issues and really tore it apart like TNG’s The Drumhead or DS9’s Cardassians. Imagine if you will an episode which had addressed whether T’Kuvma’s criticism of the Federation – that they were essentially the British Empire with a Smile – is in any way valid. Or one that looked at what happened to the real Tyler charting the experience of a prisoner of war. That could have been really interesting. I’ll give DSC a ‘kind of, needs work’ on this one. Definitely room for improvement in season 2.



    Point 3 – Discovery hasn’t really done one of these episodes yet. In fairness, neither had any of the other Treks by episode 15. We’re still waiting on an Inner Light, or a Visitor, or a City on the Edge of Forever. So DSC must get a technical fail on this point, but I see no reason why Discovery’s format precludes these episodes still to come.


    So to me, it is Star Trek. Slightly wobbly legged, more so than I’d honestly hoped for, I think I’ve been quite frank elsewhere that the show didn’t live up to my expectations in some key areas and got far too bogged down in fanwank. But yes, it’s Star Trek, and has all the potential that TNG, DS9 or VOY had at this point, and more than ENT.



    Entirely by the way, I don’t get the nuBSG comparison at all. With the possible exception of being serialised, it goes against nearly everything that nuBSG set out in its Bible that it wanted to be. Discovery has aliens and magic technology, it has ‘better’ humans, it has time travel and parallel universes, evil twins and bumpy foreheads, it isn’t ‘naturalistic’. It is exactly what Ronald D Moore walked away from to make BSG.
     
  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's a fair question but not one relevant to the thread. By all means, ask @Awesome Possum because it's important. I just don't think it's the appropriate venue, that's all.
    I agree overall, but this point stood out to me. The BSG comparisons are surface level and miss the point, pretty much.
     
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  12. Groppler Zorn

    Groppler Zorn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The BSG comparisons are surface level by definition (at least the ones I’ve made) since I’m talking about the look of the show.

    The Galactica was old and knackered (Ron D Moore even said “it’s not the enterprise”). The interiors of the Pegasus and the Valkyrie, on the other hand, wouldn’t have looked out of place on DSC at all. In a discussion of the visuals, limited to the interior of the ships (since the two nacelle design was discounted in the thought experiment) the comparison is valid. To compare the philosophy of Star Trek to BSG is missing the point :)
     
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  13. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Admiral

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    Even that is thread bare. There's no insight on why the Klingons have decided to fall in line behind a racist. It just is.

    In order to claim that you are exploring an issue, you need more than "this is bad". Racism is bad? No shit. Why? What leads all these folks and the Klingon people to decide that war is the only way to deal with it?

    T'Kuvma was another missed opportunity, looking at the cult of personality.

    There simply wasn't any depth to any of the Klingon stuff they did, which is a shame. They had fifteen episodes and I don't know any more about who the Klingons are than I did before. Well, except they have two penises now, for reasons.
     
  14. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not going lie. Whenever I hear "Previously on Star Trek: Discovery", my mind wants to substitute what I heard with, "Previously on Battlestar: Discovery." It's weird. But the bridge, the uniforms (sort-of), and gruff, tough-as-nails Lorca gives it a BSG feel. That's actually kind of what I like about Discovery.

    Philosophically, though, BSG and DSC are nothing alike.

    If DSC were BSG, Stamets would've killed Tyler. Or severely bludgeoned him. Burnham and Saru would be working on a plan to shoot Emperor Georgiou in the head while she was in command of Discovery. And Tilly wouldn't be on the show at all. Landry would still be around.

    Most importantly, the Klingons wouldn't have conquered 20% of the Federation. It would've been 80%. Then 99.9% by the end of the season. Discovery would be all that's left.

    Then the series would be challenging Star Trek's secular view. Going further than DS9 ever did. Granted, I'm in favor of DS9 letting viewers decide what the Prophets were, but still. If DSC actually really were more like BSG With Aliens, it would be a lot different.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  15. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yup. It’s the follow through. DSC never quite landed anything. Even it’s Alice themes, which are soooo heavily spread, ultimately just kind of wander off.
     
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  16. Groppler Zorn

    Groppler Zorn Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I broadly agree with your entire post here and I love the Star Trek tenets.

    The one thing I didn’t detect (although please correct me if I’m wrong) is that Star Trek is about hope. Hope for humanity. Hope for the future.

    Does Michael represent hope in DSC? I mean, outside of that speech she gives at the end that nobody asked her to give?

    Does she represent hope for us as a society where we’re isolated from each other by social media, where we’re increasingly less emotionally connected to others thanks to the distance created by email and anonymous posts online, where we’re increasingly expected to portray ourselves in a particular way due to the populist demands of Facebook and the like?

    Does Michael’s struggle for acceptance as an outsider - as many of us may face the same struggle in this day and age, particularly now that the struggle is augmented by social media - and absolution represent hope for a generation increasingly dependent on technology that can in some cases lead to a lack of human interaction?

    Is Michael Burnham the heart of DSC?

    I ask sincerely since I know that might read as glib.
     
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  17. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    The answer is no, which is why CBS is hauling in Pike to fill the void left by a weak protagonist.
     
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  18. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Admiral

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    I imagine Kurtzman liking Pike has far more to do with Pike's appearance in season two than anything else.
     
  19. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    But the question wasn't a Yes/No question.
     
  20. mos6507

    mos6507 Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry, rhetorical questions don't work well on a forum.