Spoilers R rated content - what does it add?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Smoked Salmon, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Right. Until now. That wasn't always the way it had to be, or always the way it could have been. You can't really argue that Star Trek couldn't handle an explicitly adult subject when we have just seen it do exactly that.

    No, that's what "The Raven" was about. "Retrospect" was a very thinly veiled rape allegory.

    There's allegory and then there's theme. Star Trek has even done allegory episodes for PTSD ("Schisms" anyone?) but since PTSD is an actual real thing, skirting around the subject matter doesn't accomplish much; the allegory winds up failing to address its own subject matter.

    "Let that be your last battlefield" is notable because the subject matter isn't burried in the sub-text at all. Bele's problem is that he's a RACIST. The fact that the two aliens look exactly alike to most other people is the shift that shows off racism as the absurdity that it is, and even his dialog in the episode is a very explicit stab at the Southern Democrat voting bloc ("I once heard that on some of your planets people believe they are descended from... apes.")

    It fails pretty spectacularly, considering Seven never actually has to deal with the consequences of her false memories and neither does the doctor. Korvan loses his career and ultimately even his life over this, and Voyager issues a collective "Oops!" and sails off into the sunset.

    I don't know what you consider the core tenets of science fiction to be, but the best stories don't just frame speculative problems, they also explore the consequences of the problem. This, however, is a common thread for most of the TNG era spinoffs: since the problem itself is actually fictional, there's no need to take the consequences seriously ("Force of Nature" anyone?) so once the episode ends we can just forget about it and move on.
     
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  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    One could argue that Evil Kirk tried to rape Rand as far back as "The Enemy Within" . . . and not in an allegorical way. See also Chekov attacking Mara in "The Day of the Dove," while under the influence of the Spinning Pinwheel of Hate.

    And the whole point of TOS was that it was an adult SF drama, unlike juvenile fare such as "Commando Cody" or "Lost in Space." It may seem "family-friendly" by today's standards, but it was fairly daring and provocative in its time.
     
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  3. oberth

    oberth Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    yep - i'd really like to know what i'd look like if tos was a show from 2005 (<- that means ceteris paribus new in 2005) - might even be the first nakid male a** in us tv
     
  4. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Funny you mention that...

    PIKE: Vina?
    ORION: Glistening green. Almost like secret dreams a bored ship captain might have.
    OFFICER: Funny how they are on this planet. They actually like being taken advantage of. Suppose you had all of space to choose from, and this was only one small sample.
    ORION: Wouldn't you say it was worth a man's soul?​

    Don't confuse allegory with euphemisms.

    Honestly, I'm 99% sure that TOS made for a modern audience is exactly what Discovery turned out to be. It's not different from TOS because it's edgier, darker or more adult; it's different because the definition of "edgy, darker and more adult" has changed a hell of a lot since the 1960s and Discovery is pushing the envelope by the same degree that TOS used to.

    It's not "too adult" for Star Trek, it's as adult as Star Trek used to be.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    As I like to point out, "The Cage" begins with the captain thinking about quitting because a landing party got massacred, while the bulk of the plot concerns voyeuristic aliens trying to force Pike to mate in captivity, with much discussion of "Adam and Eve" and "strong female drives." Along the way, PIke is tortured with imaginary hellfire and impales a giant ogre in a flashback to the afore-mentioned massacre, but manages to overcome the Talosian's mental powers by harnessing his most violent, bloodthirsty emotions. ("I'm imagining twisting your head off!") All leading to a tragic conclusion in which poor, disfigured Vina is left behind on the planet.

    Gotta wonder: If "The Cage" debuted today, would modern Trekkies complain that it was too dark and violent and not "family-friendly" enough?
     
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  6. Spot261

    Spot261 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Greg, may I borrow this for serial deployment in youtube?
     
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  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And Discovery's setting is just a handful of years after the Cage. It's almost as if Starfleet has been getting progressively softer as the years ago by...

    No, wait, that was still 40 years before Jim "Let them Die!" Kirk had Spock forcibly interrogate one of his own officers on the bridge of his ship. "Softer" nothing.

    And speaking of gore, am I the only one here who remembers Admiral Daugherty being killed by a face-stretching machine? Did that not actually happen and I'm just imagining things? Because I remember in the theater my dad succumbed to temptation and blurted out "Mechanical rice picker" which totally ruined that scene for me.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Feel free.
     
  9. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Schisms isn't an allegory, nor is it about PTSD, but a Star Trek take on classic Alien Abduction stories(with the typical missing time/lapse in memory/recovering memories elements). In Schisms, the memories are real. In Retrospect, it's left unanswered and ambiguous.

    Retrospect, allegory or not is about the practice of hypnosis/recovering memories, which was controversial back in the 90's, and very strongly tied to both Alien Abduction stories, and child/sexual abuse.

    Even if Retrospect uses a rape allegory("I was violated"), that's not at all the point of the story, which is about repressed memories, the inaccuracy of memories, and the questionable ethics of using hypnosis to retrieve such memories. We don't know if she was violated, and the episode leans towards She wasn't. The doctor mishandles the incident due to inexperience.
     
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  10. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's not an allegory, though. It's literally the same situation it alludes to, just with the particulars buried in the subtext. It's pretty much the same half-assed attempt at messaging we get in "Force of Nature" and again in "Thirty Days." Basically "We don't know how to tackle a real issue, but we can address a fake one and pretend it applies to the real one."
     
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  11. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Could you give an example of an actual allegory in Star Trek then, so we can tell the difference?

    Kovin didn't actually sexually assault Seven, he (allegedly)stole some of her nanoprobes to sell on the weapons market. That sounds like a symbolic reprentation in a fictional setting, of a number of real world analogous circumstances.

    Moral of Retrospect: "Accusations are dangerous, even deadly." And "Recovered Memory Therapy is unreliable evidence."

    Moral of this thread: If Star Trek has depicted all these terrible things in past without requiring an R rating, then an R rating's additions are purely superficial.
     
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  12. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    It didn’t debut back then. Something that seems to get lost these days.
     
  13. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    Film vs TV. Plus dude just has one of those faces.
     
  14. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    Or, ‘this is SF we use allegory’.
    I am getting the impression from your posts that you don’t know what it is.
    Which may be why we are talking about an episode of Voyager that’s not about rape, instead of one of the TNG episodes that have bits that are (usually Will or Deanna)
     
  15. Refuge

    Refuge Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I took that episode ("Retrospect") as a representation of violation and more. Seven had been violated by the Borg and her real memories became intertwined with the unknown of what happened with Kovin. Being a visual medium we as the audience had to be shown what was in her mind but most of the emotion from those scenes came from Seven's reactions, her face, her anxiety. She wasn't raped sexually but it wasn't hard to equate abuse being re-lived by her. As you say that was not the message alone. False memory and suggestion (albeit without malice) played a part in the episode. The Doctor got carried away and was inexperienced. Kovin was scared living in a society that even an accusation is as good as a condemnation. I picked up a smaller theme that in time Tuvok (showing 'process') provided a fuller but yet not complete, picture. That even the Doctor conceded to the available facts. It also left the audience with no clear answer. Gulity or not Kovin self-destructed. (I felt it was interesting with Seven that this episode followed 'Prey' she was out for blood herself in that one, but yes, wrong forum).

    The flashes in Tyler's mind showed far more explicit violence. Not yet sure how that is going to resolve itself as a story. Taking those scenes at face value - removing the speculation about Voq, they were brutal in my opinion. Borg assimilation is brutal yet in reference to 'Retrospect' (and Seven) messages were still conveyed and felt without going 'there'. Bringing the speculation back into Tyler's flashbacks. IF this story turns out to be him remembering being somehow transformed and willingly, (I say that in the sense he may be Voq and consented to a plan of being made human looking), it puts a different spin on the relevance of abuse in those flashbacks. Clearly it was brutal and has affected the man he is now. I do feel for him. However it's a mess trying to know if those memories should be taken as violation and interpreted as male sexual abuse, or if we later find out he as Voq has a combination of memories recalling a different relationship with L'Rell ,and then later, painful surgery. What happens if there was an original actual human Tyler first and he was somehow mixed up with Voq to create new Tyler? Then there would be another consciousness in the pot...
     
  16. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You mean, like this asinine response you've carefully crafted 7 weeks after my making a post that wasn't even directed at you?

    Excellent.

    Were you just bored yesterday and decided to log into the Discovery forum to lob a few snarky negative comments into the fray, or are you just getting caught up now? Just curious.
     
  17. fonzob1

    fonzob1 Captain Captain

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    No more or less asinine than your irrelevant comment in the first place. I had no desire to read through a 20-page topic, so I just read page 1. Your comment was the worst one on the first page, so I felt compelled to reply to it.
     
  18. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You should find another hobby, bro. If that's what compels you, its time to get out and find some purpose.

    Message board baiting isn't your thing. I'd start somewhere else.
     
  19. fonzob1

    fonzob1 Captain Captain

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    Well, I'm not a master baiter like youself in making completely irrelevant posts to divert the real discussion. Just an observation.
     
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  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The purpose of an allegorical story is to make a point about the thing being discussed that wouldn't be as clear in the explicit case. They make use of metaphors and analogies to represent the subject matter and the relationships between the two. Jesus' famous parables are examples of allegory. Kahless' story about the braggart challenging a thunderstorm to a duel is an allegory.

    You know what isn't an allegory? A story about excessive burning of space oil causing galactic warming, and the need to do something about galactic warming being hindered by a group of lobbyists working for Big Dilithium. Or a story about a crew member getting Space Cancer and having only a few months to live and deciding to spend those months with some hot chick he just met on a legalistic asteroid colony.

    A story about space hippies finding a fabled paradise planet only to discover that everything ON that planet is poisonous... this is an allegorical commentary on the "back to nature" movement of the hippies and possibly even on human nature. But if you instead have the space hippies protesting the Klingon War, raging over the widespread use of the Reserve Activation Clause, and accusing the Federation of staging the Gulf of Kahless incident as an excuse to start the war in the first place, then you're straddling the border between allegory and parody.

    "Violations" wasn't an allegory at all. The act itself was literally described as "telepathic rape." It wasn't an allegorical story, it was a "whodunnit" with a scifi premise. Contrast with "fusion" where mind meld is being used as a metaphor for fornication, with successive episodes giving T'Pol a form of space herpes that you can only get from unprotected mind melds; the only allegory in this case is the vulcan attitude towards melding, which we later discover is as natural for vulcans as eating and breathing.