Picard: "Just Like Other Sci-Fi"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Danny99, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Commodore

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    I would suggest that it turned back to a more cynical one. The original source material got pretty cynical and I don't really see either Discovery or Picard being significantly more cynical than TOS could get. We aren't talking Space 1999. Blakes Seven, Babylon 5, BSG 2K, Firefly, Killjoys or Expanse cynical. IMO, It's more like TOS, DS9, level cynical.

    A lot of people who are angry at the latest episode maybe don't seem to think that bad things don't happen in the Star Trek universe, but prefer those bad things to be kept at a comfortable distance. They don't react well to Star Trek being uncomfortable ever to watch at any level. Star Trek is supposed to be perfectly comfy almost all the time, I think, to most people, and the more uncomfortable it is, the more they think it isn't Star Trek.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  2. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Star Trek is at it's best when humanity is questioning itself, not when humanity is going around telling others how to live.
     
  3. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    If the CW gets within 10 parsecs of this show, I'm outta here!

    I don't think this is going to be about Picard Was Right All Along. I think it's about how Picard, late in life, is realizing that he has to be a little more flexible than he used to be if he wants to continue making a difference.

    The inflatable autopilot on Archer's Enterprise.
     
  4. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Nothing on that list strikes me as cynical or depressing, at most mildly uncomfortable for an occasional episode or three. Of course, I watch Sons of Anarchy, Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful, Black Sails. Seven and the Rangers could easily be made to fit into the spectrum I'm used to for the ugly side of humanity but no one would really call it Trek. Trek has always mentioned awful stuff from the beginning but it has never shown it except in hints. Picard is puling some of the curtain away from those ugly hints but there's a long way to go before it gets near the level of the first season of True Detectives or The Boys.
     
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  5. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Mona Lisa never changes. Is it irrelevant?

    There's a common theme that's lobbed at those people too. Can it be applied elsewhere?

    All characters are flawed. Except MaryMarty types like PIcard.

    It's about balance. But Roddenberry hated it when it was done.

    People were told it was not going to be like TNG. Forewarned, perhaps? Even its makers said it's not a sequel.

    https://comicbook.com/startrek/2019/12/29/star-trek-picard-next-generation-not-a-sequel/

    In which case why did they bother taping on Star Trek trademarks onto it at all? If fans take it at face value that DSC is set in the same universe as ShatnerKirk then how is this revelation bad? It's ironic, PIC for all its bumps could be a genuine sequel whereas DSC feels nowhere in place (the section 31 excuse works conceptually to a certain extent and explains why Spock says nothing in TOS and so on and so forth but I wasn't asking for YAP* and prequels generally don't answer questions that needed to be answered or contrive to do so poorly... DSC isn't the first. Nor will it be the last.)

    * Yet Another Prequel, a not-yet-defined TV trope :D

    This could easily be a Babylon 5 sequel too, just change some names around. Or even the Smurfs, why not.
     
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  6. Cake

    Cake Captain Captain

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    TOS didn't feel cynical at all. The Federation and Starfleet were portrayed as good entities, not perfect, but clearly on the good side of things. Kirk and Co. held over the course of the series a number of speeches how humans learned from past mistakes and are not the "barbarians" from the past. We saw the betterment of humans as a whole in so many episodes. TOS didn't portray a perfect future of humankind, but clearly a much better one than today and especially compared to the one in the 60s.

    And while DS9 especially in its later seasons went relative dark already, the darkness came mostly from outside to the Federation. The Cardassians and the Dominion brought it. The source didn't really come from within the Federation and Starfleet like it does in PIC. There is no outside entity in PIC which forces the Federation to just look away when people are dying and suffering. They are choosing it.
     
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  7. Large Gathering of Unmasked People

    Large Gathering of Unmasked People Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    The Mona Lisa is a completed work. To extend that analogy, Picard is a new painting informed by the old one.
     
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  8. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^this

    Season 3 of TOS was very cynical at times.

    Partly because they knew the show was axed and didn't give a (fertilizer) about it.

    Of all the examples to point out, let's use "Turnabout Intruder"* and the making thereof is a biggie because there's more to its making of than people assume. Especially as the Great Bird himself penned it. Just which group of people was he really giving the bird to... (e.g. trying to criticize the network for not letting women being captains and first officers, et al, as third person POV...)

    * I'm just glad the script didn't go anywhere with characters exploring their shiny new/used bodies. I'm even more glad 80s Trek didn't do to it what they did to Naked Time...
     
  9. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^this, especially re: DS9. But INS did the "Starfleet is bad" routine too. As did Pegasus and a handful of TNG episodes. And ST VI. The plot trope is usually used out of desperation or having nothing else to do. Doesn't mean it's bad just because, and it's not like Trek has reused plots before. (And not everybody's going to like or dislike each individual offering, but I digress.)

    But I still disagree slightly that TOS didn't have cynicism at times, especially in season 3. Individual perception may vary, however. (Some episodes resolved nothing or had gruesome endings - novel for the time but Gene was gone by that time... once in a while, it's refreshingly different. But all the time? Does the term "Junkie" ring a bell because it's like the show needs its next fix before the next one is made... Then again, the same can be said for happy pills along with sad pills. :D)
     
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  10. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Fascinating perspective. And great point. It'll be fun the next time I go to the art museum and see the portraits next to each other. Bigger museums are better.

    ...Except Marcel Duchamp got there first. :( (Doesn't mean I didn't like or dislike his take on the original... but everyone will have a reaction to it. :D )
     
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  11. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Commodore

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    "Spock, I've found that evil usually triumphs unless good is very, very careful." - McCoy, the Omega Glory.

    That's hella cynical.

    Now, typically cynical stuff was directed at individuals and not institutions, because Star Trek is about being the man not fighting the man. The Federation and Starfleet are therefore presented as good, but there's no shortage of bad apples to be found in either Starfleet or the Federation.
     
  12. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I honestly don't get the complaints about tone, about "dystopia," etc. A certain aspect of a future society is shown to be withdrawn and corrupt. Picard believes it can be corrected. He is not cynical.

    This is not even close to The Expanse, a series that in spite of everything, still shows people trying to correct the problems of their societies rather than surrendering to them.
     
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  13. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Admiral Admiral

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    Mostly sunny and warm with possibility of intermittent rain showers.
     
  14. Longinus

    Longinus Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, agreed. For some reason people here like to pretend that there is some drastic themeatic difference between TNG and TOS. There is a difference, but it of degree not of kind.
    Here you are completely wrong though. DS9 started the 'cynical dark trek trend.' It introduced S31, the worst blight upon Star Trek's positive vision of the future. It completely undermined TNG, made fun of it. It had the captain who committed murder conspiracy and used WMDs against civilians.

    Picard may have gone to the dark places, but I really don't believe the message will be 'ends justify means.' I don't think it is really a cynical. It shows people who struggle and a society that has lost it's way, but those things are set as obstacles to be overcome. I fully believe that the better way will prevail in the end.
     
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  15. urbandk

    urbandk Commodore Commodore

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    This is totally my expectation. I'm reading this whole season as a "dark night of the soul" extended metaphor for both Picard and in a more general sense, human idealism.

    I expect the closure/catharsis at the end of the season will be imperfect, but it will indicate the inherent nobility and importance of struggling for a just cause.

    Also I subscribe to the theory that
    Judge Q is going to pop in at the end to check in on Picard
     
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  16. Cake

    Cake Captain Captain

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    For sure DS9 was the darkest of the old Star Trek series. And maybe it was the first sign of cynical trend, but in my opinion DIS and PIC took it further.

    For example S31, which I also wish was never invented, was back then portrayed as a super secret group likely hardly anyone in the Federation or Starfleet was aware of and if they would have been aware of them, most wouldn't have agreed with their deeds and philosophy. So not all of the Federation and Starfleet was completely blemished by their existence. Compare that to DIS in which they have a space station, numerous ships, own badges and seem to be as well known as the CIA of today. That the whole of the Federation and Starfleet has knowledge of S31 and just let them act like they want implies complicity and approval of their deeds. At least that wasn't the case in DS9 yet.

    And during the Dominion war the Federation was really threatened. They feared for their survival. And in reaction to that some in the Federation and Starfleet used immoral means. But again that was at least in a reaction to a dangerous outside force and it was done out of desperation and not everyone agreed with these actions, too. I can understand some shit behaviour when the lives of billions of Federation citizens are at stake.

    The Federation in PIC doesn't have the same excuse for doing nothing. It is not even like it would take some super big effort for them to improve the situation somewhat. For example the biggest thugs in the region around Vashti had only an old Bird of Prey. They wouldn't have even needed to send a super modern starship to stop them. And that they stopped the rescuing efforts of the Romulans completely in the first place was also caused by internal struggles and simply judging Romulans as not worth saving.
     
  17. Hades Temperature Checker

    Hades Temperature Checker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    None of this is demonstrated. Starfleet would neither confirm nor deny S31's existence, which means that they could be aware and want deniability. Enterprise established they had been around for a lot longer.

    None of which shows that the Federation knows all about them and gives approval of exactly what S31 is. That's an assumption.
    What did DSC show us? Oh yeah, a war with the Klingons that threatened the entity of the Federation. Billions of lives were at stake.
     
  18. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Commodore Commodore

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    It also occurs to me that the more someone tries to reimagine a legacy show, rather than follow it exactly (= bring back as many consultants as possible) and only extrapolate its future, the more likely it is to end up looking like another contemporary show. That could be another reason for the “generic sci-fi vibe”.
     
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  19. Bgt

    Bgt Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe the show is an allegory, Picard is the franchise trying to find its place in today's TV landscape
     
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  20. Cake

    Cake Captain Captain

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    S31 isn't trying to hide at all in DIS. It is impossible that the Federation and Starfleet is not aware of them. There were Starfleet Admirals on that space station of them, Pike was aware of them and again they were not hiding at all. They even have badges indentifying them to everyone.

    And actually we didn't see much of the war with the Klingons. The Discovery was mostly absent from any fights and for a number of episodes not even in the same universe. Instead of it they made friends with genocidal Georgiou and then let her run around free pretending to be the original Georgiou in their own universe and even hired her after the war ended. Not to mention their actions were not just against the Klingons. They tortured the poor tardigrade and planned to torture more of them and in this case the main characters we follow did the torturing.

    In DIS the main problem of the Federation is the acceptance of Section 31. Drastic measures against the Klingons I could have even understood when they were close to losing especially if they would have bothered to show anything of the desperation of war instead of going to the mirrorverse. But they have no problem with S31 and Georgiou at all and that just tarnish them. And I won't forget what the characters we follow did to the poor tardigrade. At least none of the nicer PIC characters have done anything so abhorrent yet on screen.