Spoilers Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 1x08 - "The Elysian Kingdom"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' started by Commander Richard, Jun 22, 2022.

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Hit it!

  1. 10 - Excellent!

    23.5%
  2. 9

    16.5%
  3. 8

    19.0%
  4. 7

    14.0%
  5. 6

    9.0%
  6. 5

    4.5%
  7. 4

    6.0%
  8. 3

    2.5%
  9. 2

    2.0%
  10. 1 - Terrible!

    3.0%
  1. Crazy 4 XmasLights

    Crazy 4 XmasLights Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It reminds me of a time I wrote myself into a corner, and had to try to come up with a way out. When that happens, sometimes you just have to try to find a solution that works... even if it's not quite ideal.
     
  2. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not sure that Rukiya M'Benga's done yet.
     
  3. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I'm about halfway through this one. I am sad to say it, but I think it's the season stinker. I really expected to enjoy it based on the premise, and I also get that it's drawn from a kids imagination so there's a certain lack of verisimilitude to it, but mainly I think it fails because it's all just a lot less funny than it thinks it is. Anson Mount generally but also Christina Chong and Rebecca Romjin all have comedy moments that just fall flat. I had to stop halfway through because I was genuinely finding it to be a grind to get through. It's to me irritating rather than entertaining.

    There are things I like. Peck gets away with it, as do Navia and Gooding. It's obviously all leading somewhere for M'Benga and the Space-Brain is going to help his kid somehow, probably by absorbing her or some such, but that feels earned and Olusanmokun is brilliant so it's nice to have a spotlight on him. I didn't notice from the trailers, but I like how they've dressed up the standing Enterprise sets, rather than create an entirely fantastic environment.

    I'm hoping the last twenty minutes of it will make me think again, but so far I'm not feeling it. Ah well. One duffer in an otherwise strong season. Not bad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
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  4. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, it was the weakest one so far. If it hadn't been for Babs Olusanmokun being so damn good in every scene he's in it would've been a complete stinker.
     
  5. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    That plotline sure is.

    They created a really interesting character conundrum. M'Benga is in what he considers to be an impossible position, and so he lies, steals resources, and covers up his actions. Small wrongs in the service of a greater good, are they justified? What other rules would he break in service of a moral code? Or is it not about a moral code, but just his own selfishness?

    That's all very interesting, and it potentially gave future writers a lot to do with him. And it's all been handwaved away by a deus ex nebula, with zero consequences and zero chance for future introspection.

    Add to that the flatly unfunny comedy and this is unquestionably the worst episode of the season so far. I wonder if they weren't repeating the mistake TNG made with "The Naked Now", playing these characters against type without first giving us a chance to really live with them and the writers and actors a chance to develop them. Only when we really know the characters is it effective to shuffle them around.
     
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  6. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    It's still a solid "10." :D
     
  7. Crazy 4 XmasLights

    Crazy 4 XmasLights Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I liked the idea of the plotline, but wasn't sure where it could go, in the long term. Rukiya appears, Dad reads to her, she vanishes again, rinse, repeat, for however long they choose to keep it going. Every now and then, someone finds out and agree to stay silent, or are conveniently silenced by death. Sooner or later, you need to resolve it, but the resolutions are kind of limited.

    1. Rukiya runs out of time and dies in a tearful Dr. M'Benga's arms. Tragic on a level of "Lift Us Up", which can work.
    2. The Enterprise finds a strange new world with the discovery they need to cure her condition. Rukiya can finally leave the transporter. Pike pulls some trick to ensure that M'Benga gets off lightly with Starfleet. Rukiya and M'Benga have a touching goodbye scene before she heads back to Earth.
    3. Same as #2, but Enterprise is headed into an uncharted part of the galaxy, and sending Rukiya back is logistically impossible for the time being. She becomes a recurring character, SNW's answer to Jake Sisko or Naomi Wildman.
    4. Play the wild card and have something else happen.

    I expect I would have tried to work out #3, because I like happy endings and kid characters (in moderation, and not when they save the ship every other week). But they went with #4.
     
  8. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    It was a cheap, unearned sendoff to an ambitious plotline that they didn't bother developing.

    On the whole, the writing on this series is pretty good. But this abandoned subplot was a true misfire.
     
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  9. Captain Kris Kringle Pike

    Captain Kris Kringle Pike Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    As episodes go I'm good with skipping this one. I'm tired of the dying child trope so that they ended it early is fine by me.
     
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  10. Stuart Wilson

    Stuart Wilson Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Just watched it and I enjoyed it a lot. I agree that the plotline with the child was all wrapped up too easily but there was some fun getting to the conclusion and the actors got to stretch a little and have a laugh. A nice little bottle show and I for one am pleased to watch Star Trek let it's hair down and have fun. Can't save the universe every week.
     
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  11. McCoy's Disco Collar

    McCoy's Disco Collar Commander Red Shirt

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    I too want more comedy. Good comedy is good. But this wasn't that.

    If nothing else, the episode did clearly show us who has great comedy chops (Mount, Horak, Navia), who really doesn't (Romijn, Chong), and who is woefully out of their depth (Gooding).
     
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  12. Captain Kris Kringle Pike

    Captain Kris Kringle Pike Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I mean, there's a positive to showing the actors having a variety of ranges. Also, good comedy is highly subjective.
     
  13. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    Nah, it was fine. Tremendously entertaining.
     
  14. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I'm glad so many enjoyed it. I enjoyed parts of it. Big parts of it. There were just long tracts of it that I didn't enjoy at all.

    As has been said, good comedy is highly subjective. One man's treasure is another man's tedium.

    I tell you what though, Babs Olusanmokun is fantastic. Like, gold-certified brilliant. Stone cold. Love his voice and he has so much screen presence. He owned the King outfit effortlessly. There were many lengthy scenes in the episode that didn't land for me, but the episode worked overall because of Babs.
     
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  15. SantaEddie74

    SantaEddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It was TOS-style costume-driven silliness combined with a Berman-style noncorporeal life form who helps a crew member. It was a lot of fun and very watchable.
     
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  16. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Commodore Commodore

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    I thought dressing the fantasy stuff over the existing sets was pleasingly TOS like.
     
  17. Nyotarules

    Nyotarules Vice Admiral Moderator

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    I rewatched this yesterday, and still enjoy it! Mount (who said at Comicon he channelled his version of Shakespeare's Polonius from Hamlet) and Chong are a hoot! And so is the doggie :luvlove:
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  18. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Totally agree. If Marvel had wanted to recast T'Challa, there's the guy, right there.
     
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  19. Argosy

    Argosy Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I get what people are saying about M'Bengas storyline with his daughter. Difficult choices and discussions were made throughout the season and then it was all just magicked away. The fact she then came back literally seconds later as an adult to say everything was ok definitely wasn't needed, but it seems to be an increasingly common narrative issue that we absolutely must not leave any stone unturned.

    That said, I thought it was great fun. Awesome set dressing, fantastic costumes and I really enjoyed it because it was clear that the cast were too. Great series, loving it, warts and all.
     
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  20. SantaEddie74

    SantaEddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If this was "bad" SNW then I know this series is great.