Spoilers Star Trek: Short Treks 1x01 - "Runaway"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Commander Richard, Oct 2, 2018.

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Rate the short…

  1. 10 - Short but sweet!

    9.2%
  2. 9

    6.4%
  3. 8

    23.9%
  4. 7

    17.4%
  5. 6

    13.8%
  6. 5

    12.8%
  7. 4

    4.6%
  8. 3

    3.7%
  9. 2

    2.8%
  10. 1 - Short answer: Hated it!

    5.5%
  1. Wowbagger

    Wowbagger Commodore Commodore

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    This was very flawed. Someone pointed out that it plays like a fan film, but there are a good few 15-minute fan films that know to how to use the short format to make the stakes clear and have the action decisively pivot on discrete human choices. This... didn't. It was crowded, muddled, and it's not really clear to me why Poe changes her mind (her conversation with Tilly doesn't really make sense either before or after you find out she's queen).

    I rather think, budget aside, the Aaron Vanderkley productions did better work in the short format than Runaway. (I'm thinking of The Fall of Starbase One, or maybe Good Men would be a better parallel because it's even talkier than Runaway.)

    But this is the first time since Burnham put on the thruster suit in "The Vulcan Hello" that Discovery felt like it was trying to make Star Trek (rather than Edgy Space Adventure #74). As such, it was Discovery's best episode to date. It didn't hurt that Tilly is so darned likable, and Poe was pretty neat, too. The translator trick was a good one; I couldn't figure out how a humanoid could be so primitive (almost bestial), and then BOOM it turned out to just be the language barrier. Like people say, some Trek is better than no Trek, and I've been waiting 13 years for it.

    I give it a grateful 6.
     
  2. dahj

    dahj Vice Admiral Admiral

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    'tis but wake up juice. :p
     
  3. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    FYI - TOS used the term "Food Replicator Units".

    That said, ST: D did show Burham actually replicating a new uniform via a replicator.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, it didn't: http://scriptsearch.dxdy.name/?page=results&query=({series|tos,tas,}) and ({line|replicator,})

    They were called food synthesizers in "By Any Other Name," "Day of the Dove," and "The Practical Joker." The Making of Star Trek described the food slots as a robotic food preparation and dumbwaiter system swiftly assembling meals from real ingredients stored and preserved using advanced methods. The idea of a transporter-based food replication system was introduced by David Gerrold in his 1980 Bantam Star Trek novel The Galactic Whirlpool, and since he was an uncredited co-creator of TNG, he was presumably the one who brought the idea to the show.

    No, the term used in DSC is "matter synthesis." It's distinct from replication, which is a transporter-based system.
     
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  5. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    Doh - I stand corrected - I just rewatched the scene from TOS "Trpouble With Tribbles" when I though Scotty said "Their probably in all the other Food Replicators too..." but he did say 'Synthesizers' and that's what they called them in TOS: "Food Synthesizers"
    (Hey, I'm old ;))
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Another fan term bandied about was "fabricators", for machines that did essentially what we see Burnham's machine tailor doing. Which is rather curious, as nothing in TOS was ever "fabricated".

    One would expect this type of machinery to evolve so that the actual line between system X and a "true" replicator is in fact quite vague. Transporter tech might have featured into it all big time in TOS already. Or it might have been a minor element, or absent altogether. There's no real telling, and no fault in telling if the writers eventually decide to.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Err, Scott called them "food processors" in "Tribbles."
     
  8. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    if they can transport human beings and quantum-level memory chips, I think they can make a fucking burrito.
    call it replicated, call it syntheized
     
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  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The words aren't interchangeable, though. To synthesize something is to make it from scratch; to replicate something is to create a replica of it. Replicated items are basically transporter duplicates of an original item that was "beamed up" and had its pattern stored permanently. So replicated food is a more exact recreation of the original foodstuffs than synthesized food. In the same way that a recording of a real violin is a more exact recreation of the sound of a violin than a synthesizer programmed to approximate the sound of a violin would be.
     
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  10. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    semantics. a 1970's moog couldn't do it, but if you have appropriate controls of wave forms, you could hypothetically reproduce the sound of a stradivarious by analog or digital synthesis or a violin, it would just be easier to do it another way, generally, such as sampling.

    I'll accept that the food machines from the 23rd century may have a limited number of recipies they can replicate or synthesize as opposed to the 24th century machines that are less 3d food printer, and more transporter/cloning machine, but at that point we're just discussing minor differences in terms.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Terminology matters. That's why there are different words for different things. A phonograph record and a CD may seem like variations on the same thing, filling the same purpose, but there are fundamental and important differences between them. A flapper listening to the new Jelly Roll Morton record on her CD player would be an anachronism, so why should Tilly using a replicator get a pass?
     
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  12. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    Terminology matters up to a point.

    After that it tends to be page-filler and chases away viewers/readers.

    And yes, actually a CD and a phonograph are, in essense, the same thing: a machine that uses a disc shaped object to play audio, mostly music. If you showed both of them to a 2nd century Athenian and showed how they worked, he might think they were interesting mechanical marvels, and both of them essentially the same thing.

    And its not as if we have any clue really how either of them work, quasi-canon aside. The TNG replicator is about as unscientifically hocus pocus as the transporter, a protein synthesizer decidedly less so, but they do the same thing, look the same, accomplish the same thing. I do like that the book Drastic Measure mentions the food synthesizers to require some kind of bulk organic mass to operate, but beyond that its just how the enrgecy and matter is arranged to make something. Much like a the sun and a plant and a few helping hands along the way make a hamburger bun.
     
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  13. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think I remember reading somewhere that replicated food isn't exactly the food, but rather something cleaner and healthier that just looks and tastes like the food.
    I watched this back on Monday, but just didn't get around to posting about it yet.
    I thought it was fun, we got some nice characters stuff for Tilly and Poe was pretty cool. It was also probably the most Trek story that Discovery has told so far, and it really makes me optimistic for Season 2.
    It gets an 8 from me.
     
  14. TLemun

    TLemun Ensign Newbie

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    I enjoyed it. Very excited for season 2.
    I did notice something on a second viewing though (sorry if it was already mentioned).
    In the establishing shot for the scene in Tilly's quarters, the camera passes through a rectangular CGI window. But in the reverse shot, the window is not there. In fact, that wall has a door (likely leading to a corridor). It was just a weird choice since there are several physical windows in the set they could have used for the shot. Pretty nit-picky, I know.
     
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  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But if someone showed you a historical movie in which a 1920s character listened to a CD, you sure as hell would know that it was wrong, and I don't believe for a second that you'd just accept that blatant anachronism without complaint. By the same token, I know they didn't have replicators in the 23rd century, so I would see it as the same kind of anachronism if the show claimed they did (which, fortunately, it doesn't seem to have done so far). Your "2nd-century Athenian" comparison doesn't work here, because I'm not new to these concepts. I've been watching Star Trek for nearly 90 percent of my life. I knew what a starship food synthesizer was years before I knew what a compact disc was (since they weren't released until 1982).


    Some stories have claimed that, but it doesn't really fit the premise that replicators are transporter-based. It seems to be confusing them for the earlier synthesizer-based tech. Sure, a replicator materializes food at molecular rather than quantum resolution, so there should be some slight imperfections compared to the original, but I'm not sure it's credible that they'd be significant enough to alter the flavor. I think there was one episode or book that asserted that people's perception of replicated food tasting different was just their expectation that it would because it wasn't "natural."

    Still, I suppose that if you can store foodstuffs as molecular-level patterns, it would be possible to edit those patterns to improve their nutritional value. That might be what you're thinking of.
     
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  16. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Fly Me to the Moon Moderator

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    ARCHER: Liam Brennan asks 'what do you eat?' For the most part, the same things you eat at home. Our Chef can make anything from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to turkey with all the trimmings. We have a hydroponic greenhouse onboard where we grow fruits and vegetables, and we can also replicate certain foods with our protein resequencer.

    http://www.chakoteya.net/Enterprise/08.htm


    Not saying it's the same thing as the TNG-era replicator obviously, just that the word "replicate" was used in that context as early as the 22nd century.
     
  17. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    Either way, I don't think Discovery has used the word replicator, actually I don't know if they've given the food slots a name at all.
     
  18. Tai

    Tai Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Washington, D.C
    I thought in terms of characterization this was a little bit of a step back for Tilly. Her neurotic, wide-eyed, fish out of water schtick was really grating to me early on in the first season. I thought Wiseman did a really great job of settling into the role and calibrating it so it fit well into the ensemble, particularly during the mirror episodes and the season finale. Maybe this was just too much Tilly all at once again for my tastes.

    I didn't like the story too much though I suspect it wasn't really written with my demographic in mind. I just felt the alien character was lifted from Shuri of Black Panther.

    That being said, if the introduction of the character is a teaser for her reappearance later in the season, this mini-story does offer a good foundation for her relationship with Tilly down the line.
     
  19. Gepard

    Gepard Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Laurence Krauss made the same point as the bolded portion in "The Physics of Star Trek," but offered his own take on why people would be put off by replicated food: if the replicator really is recreating items molocule by molocule from a stored pattern, then each and every ham sandwich or bowl of cereal that comes out of it is going to be identical to every other one. The same slice of cheese, the same prime rib, the same chocolate sundae, day after day after day. That's going to seem unappealing after a while.

    (It does ignore that we've seen people request alterations to temperature, which means the replicators can alter the stored patterns as needed – but then this is the Starfleet that doesn't put basic safety features on their consoles, so I can totally see them failing to install any kind of software that would add variety.)
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    On the other hand, you have an endless variety of foods to choose from, so you don't have to order the same thing every day, or you can try different variants of it. (When Tom Paris asked Voyager's replicator for tomato soup in "Caretaker," he was offered 14 varieties of that single item, plus the option of getting them hot or chilled.) But I bet some people would appreciate that when they did order one of their favorites, it'd be just like they remembered it.