Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Commander Richard, Sep 24, 2017.
Go read any Honor Harrington novel.
Oh yes! That's what made me put down the first one I tried.
You can't have it both ways. Either we're picking the CSI and NCIS writers because of their dedication to scientific accuracy or we're not. If we don't care about scientific accuracy, then sure, we can hire anyone on can create an entertaining script. However, that wasn't the argument, and once you throw science out the window, why would we limit ourselves to the talent pool of writers for CBS procedurals? For instance, one could argue that Max Landis could write an entertaining Star Trek series.
There's a balance between scientific integrity and good TV. What we call "unknown technology" is everyday med-tech 200 years in the future. A near fatal dose of radiation exposure can be healed with only a couple of hours in an anti-radiation chamber.
The fact that Burnham was able to kill Rajac does not surprise me - she was very fit, physically and probably was trained in basic Zero-G combat. It's not much of a stretch, especially when the show is actually, surprisingly, not about how long it takes to travel 12 parsecs or how fast you can kill an armoured klingon in ZeroG while wearing mag-boots.
That's how I felt about Enterprise and Voyager too. If you compressed all their really good episodes together, it'd be just enough for one really good season of the show.
DS9 was more like TOS in that regard. It had some really dumb episodes (especially in season 1) but those were the exception rather than the rule.
Hello, go read the books "The Expanse" was based on. The space combat there is definitely interesting as hell to read about... but translating that into a visual medium is ALOT harder to do in a primetime drama, so I can understand why they didn't go all out.
ETA: Thinking back on it, I actually remembered that I DID read one of the Honorverse novels a few years ago. I got through maybe the first three chapters before I decided I was done torturing myself and put it away, never to be opened again.
I'm thinking "military science fiction" is not quite the same thing as space opera; it's more of a fetish than an actual genre. It doesn't appeal to everyone, but it isn't really meant to.
First of all, might I point out that I was specifically responding to someone's comment that the writers of CSI and NCIS would be better at the science of Star Trek. I wasn't suggesting that Star Trek needed to be either more or less scientifically accurate. I was merely pointing out that shows like CSI are not necessarily know for their scientific accuracy.
As for the balance between science and entertainment, before one explores where that line is, you have to start with a basis of good storytelling. It's all fine and dandy to explain away discrepancies with the phrase "It's the future, dude", but the story has to be more than explainable, it has to be intuitive to the viewer. It doesn't matter if I can figure out a way that something works if I think about it for a while. The point is that I shouldn't have to think about it at all.
For instance, I don't care how fit or well trained Burnham is, because Rajac would probably have a similar level of tactical and physical training given the importance of his role. That one quick scene where they fight is over in the blink of an eye and can't possibly highlight her level of skill and her physical conditioning. Those things are just not communicated in the scene in any way. What we see is indistinguishable from dumb luck.
It would have made far more sense if she'd shot first, or if there'd been a longer fight that demonstrated their respective skill. Then the audience wouldn't have to ask how she managed to kill the Klingon so quickly, or why his bat'leth had such an obvious design flaw, or why someone in the future who carries a bladed weapon in space has an armored spacesuit that's easily penetrated by bladed weapons. If you're going to make your audience think about something, it should be because it's part of the theme/point of the episode. Otherwise, it's just a distraction from the storytelling that takes the viewer right out of the episode.
Once you have that element of storytelling straight, then you can worry about scientific accuracy.
Odd, I recall posting a response earlier. Perhaps TimeWarner no longer likes me? Well, Matthew, I think that unless you have either exposition (adding clunky dialog) describing a characters fitness level, or macho workout scenes, you have to make assumptions based on whats portrayed on-film. Burnham reacts immediately to seeing the klingon, and when he attacks her response is instantaneous. Further, she's shown being able to pilot the thruster suit very capably.
All these little bits demonstrate to me, that she is highly trained in hand to hand combat, zero-g fighting and is in decent physical shape. Is it possible we were meant to believe she was just lucky? Perhaps - she almost died out there (then again, death has been shown to be reversible in Star Trek, so take that with a grain of salt). I just think its highly improbable.
Truth is, from TOS all the way through ENT and the movies, the crew were always meant to be in tip-top shape and highly trained; just that a relatively modest budget, tight shooting schedules and an incredible dose of Writers Myopia, not to mention lack of choreographers, meant that every show was littered with examples where Our Heroes get into the sort of trouble they were allegedly trained to not get into - especially for personnel expected to get into personal combat.
Your options, as a film maker, would be to either show a skill or tell they audience that they have it. If you do neither, then you're relying on the franchise to fill in the blanks for you, and that's a poor strategy if you're trying to pull in new fans. Keep in mind, it's been 12 years since Enterprise ended. You have an entire generation that only knows Star Trek from reruns and the J.J. Abrams movies.
As I recall, she didn't really act until he took a swing at her. It was over so quick that you could practically blink and miss it. It's a rather lame way to introduce the threat of your primary antagonists.
Really? I was under the impression that the computer in her suit was piloting until she got to the beacon.
Did it, though? Does the deftly jump out of the way of his bat'leth swing, or is the Torchbearer just lousy at this job? Did she intend to hit him, or did she just spam the thruster button in a blind panic trying to escape? This is something you could establish with longer takes, good fight choreography, better lighting and proper camera work.
It has nothing to do with what we're intended to think. We shouldn't have to think about it. That's the point. We have to guess because we weren't shown.
Please stop being an apologist. At 6-8 million dollars per episode, there really isn't an excuse. The scene is confusing, reveals nothing of significance about either character, and has virtually no impact on the plot. Michael has no agency in the scene (merely reacting out of reflex to an immediate threat), and the Torchbearer's character has the depth of a sakazuki. This isn't a limitation of the budget. It's bad storytelling.
I don't know anything about the Torchbearer; presumably its discussed in future episodes. Just from watching 1x01, i came to the conclusions i mentioned above - that Burnham is a highly trained officer. I really don't know what else you want; a diploma in her quarters?
I'm not saying that it's an invalid conclusion. I'm saying that it should be self-evident, as opposed to something you have to conclude in order for the plot to make sense.
Keep in mind, this should be a critical moment in the plot. Michael is facing the very same enemy that killed her parents, that would later compel her to commit the acts of assault on a superior officer and mutiny. Yet it's over in and instant, and her actions were the actions any other character might perform themselves in her place. A random ensign could have performed the same role in the story, from the spacewalk to marching up on the bridge and reporting that the Klingons were behind it all.
In fact, given the radiation exposure, it would have made more sense, because Michael should be in no shape to immediately return to the bridge. You could have some ensign who's a friend of Michael fly over to the beacon and fight the Klingon, escaping death just long enough to report that it's the Klingons, then collapsing and dying right on the bridge and triggering Michael's PTSD as a result. The Klingons have taken another person she loves. Way more dramatic than her just bumping into a Klingon who's obviously just protecting his beacon.
To me, it was self-evident as I was watching.
I'll have to go back and watch it again, then, because I remember that scene being a quick-cut mess from the Land That Wide Shots Forgot.
We know how they *don't* work.
I seem to recall that it was hours before Burnham was awake. Than she rushed to the bridge with the doctor and others says you need to report to sickbay or you will die. She got her warning out, and returned to sickbay while the captain consulted Starfleet. It was still some time later that the Klingons acted or reacted to anything.
So they just spent a long time, maybe as much as a half a day, sitting there, trying to figure out why a relay station was holed, what had Burnham seen, and then why are their Klingons here? Followed by the everything else.
And the fact that she survived at all is called "plot armor". She shouldn't have survived the radiation, let alone running all the way to the bridge halfway through treatment for it.
Right, so nothing significant to the plot happens until Burnham recovers. By contrast, if you have another character do the spacewalk, you only need enough time in the plot for them to report what they saw: Klingons. In fact, they only have to say that one word, and then croak.
Now that I think of it, it doesn't even make sense for her to have to go to the bridge. She should just ask for the captain. What's the Captain going to say? "I can't come down to hear your report about the mysterious object right now, because I'm too busy watching the mysterious object"? Did the intercom stop working? I'd call Micheal a Mary Sue if she weren't so psychotic.
Sometimes I think we know too much about the movie/tv making processes for our own good. From now on the term plot armor is going to be forcing its way into my thoughts whenever it happens on screen, shattering whatever suspension of disbelief I have managed to achieve.
@Keeper, Hi, I'm Matthew Raymond, and this is Matthew Ruins Everything.
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