Spoilers Things that grind my gears about S3

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Kahlesh, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, the distress call indicated only the USS Hiraga tried rescuing the Kelpiens but was presumed lost when the Khi'eth scientists mentioned there has been no communications from the Hiraga for 6 months after entering the nebula.

    Federation logs only mention the Khi'eth being sent to investigate a dilithium nursery, however they (and the distress call) do NOT mention another Federation/SF ship being dispatched to investigate the disappearance of USS Hiraga or try a second rescue of Khi'eth.

    This is where things don't add up.
    Federation records never mention a follow-up investigation leading to the loss of USS Hiraga (which should have been done)... and if such an investigation was done, why isn't anything mentioned?
    For that matter, it would have been as simple as having Tilly add: 'There was a second attempt at rescuing the Khi'eth, but before the USS 'whatever' could execute it, they conducted an investigation into the loss of USS Hiraga, and determined that the Verubin nebula was too dangerous and couldn't be traversed safely to reach the Khi'eth'.

    This however was never mentioned. And also, it still doesn't explain why did the Khi'eth survive the nebula (albeit damaged) and other SF ships were dropping like flies, and why couldn't they modify another ship to go into the nebula like the Khi'eth did?

    Programmable matter (or heck, even transporters with replicators) could do the work in hours or less to modify structural integrity... the Discovery never even tried modifying their shields to make them more resistant to the nebula radiation (but then again, Saru was a bit rash in his decision to take Disco inside).
     
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  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A world leaving and people dying are two different situations. As much as the situation is desperate losing a third ship might feel quite demoralizing.
    Then it's just bad writing. Stupid writers and their stupid stupidness! Curse them for all eternity for failing in their Star Trek duties! ;)
     
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  3. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's a given for this season (unfortunately).
    I know you aren't too vexed about it but even you have to admit that Discovery Season 3 writing should have aimed higher than THAT. I mean, come on, that's a few extra seconds of lines at best.
    Discovery shouldn't repeat same mistakes as TOS... because its NOT TOS. And its 2021. Good writing (aka attention to detail and making the story work with the setting) and Trek DO go hand in hand.
    As would be 'as part of our refit, we now acquired TARDIS technology which increased some of the internal ship's volume by 4 times'.

    Again, simple and adds a few seconds. That's all it would have took to reconcile the vastness of 'systems hub' (though that doesn't excuse the 'People of Earth' plot.. which could work - albeit stretched to the limit with something like: our colony and ship communications were damaged in the Burn and we had no expertise or technology to repair it, so we had no way to contact Earth'... or 'we sent a ship, we tried contacting them as well, and they still refused to listen').
     
  4. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The sheer number of lines that I think should be a part of Trek would fill a book. I don't think anything should be better. I would hope they do better but if it isn't then it isn't. I can't change it. So, that's what head canon is for. They classified it because two ships went out of contact in that area and large amounts of radiation were detected.

    As for the TARDIS tech since I am aware it exists I don't need a line. "People of Earth" is a little bit harder though given both taking a more isolationist stance and seem to refuse to listen as part of that whole perspective.

    Again, it doesn't vex me because this has part of my Trek fan experience from the beginning. I don't think 2021 will change writing deadlines and limits that writers have. They can't learn from TOS because they didn't have those experiences. They have to make whole new mistakes.
     
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  5. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The lines only need to be added to fit the immediate story... its only a few lines and few extra seconds... not a big deal to do. You don't have to cram an entire book worth of sentences into a single episode... just key lines would suffice that explain away some of the more 'glaring' inconsistencies).

    Also, the Khi'eth survived the radiation and had a few survivors... indicating that further modifications based on Khi'eth hull design (or materials) and analysis of the radiation in the nebula (from outside it) would likely allow for a successful rescue.
    Had the USS Hiraga done that (like previous ships in 24th century did), it may not have been lost... and of course 0 mention that another attempt was made or anything else for that matter.

    Not everyone knows TARDIS technology exists. Enterprise wasn't popular for many people (I liked it though), so some of us know about this technology, but there were mitigating circumstances behind that technology (aka, it was used during the Temporal Wars - so we don't know whether it was integral part of Temporal tech which was banned or not... and if it wasn't, and if the technology increases internal volume by 4x (like it did on Discovery during those turbolift sequences), then why didn't SF simply populate the empty space with multiple 31st/32nd century Fusion Reactors, Thermionic generators and Tetryon Reactors (all of which combined would be more than enough for Warp and faster than Warp velocities) without needing dilithium and m/am?

    It vexes me because I was hoping Trek (and Discovery) would rise above previous Trek mistakes and not repeat them blatantly (aka with every single episode of Season 3 in spades - past Trek isn't an exception but it also didn't do this with every single episode)..

    Look at the Expanse for example... the TV series managed to adapt the books quite well/convincingly.
    There is no reason Trek couldn't apply good writing that fits the setting and makes use of advanced technology (yes even massively more advanced 32nd century technology) and tell a good story in the process.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How would they proceed with that knowledge that they couldn't possibly know?
    I don't know why. I would ask the Starfleet Engineers.
    How can they rise above mistakes they haven't made? Writing is an art; I don't think I should have to say that but I will. These writers didn't work on past Treks so how are they to know all the past mistakes? What makes that possible?

    I don't know anything about the Expanse so I cannot comment. I'm going to guess though that going that way would largely having massive pushback because it isn't Trek enough, given the response to Discovery in some corners in the first place. So, the writing staff has basically been sufficently cowed. They won't advance too much, but they'll do just enough now to play it safe. The main character is now a captain, she will have various advisers who will help her solve problems of the week and they will warp off/jump away to new adventures. Lather, rinse repeat.
     
  7. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The USS Hiraga was 2 weeks away at maximum warp when they first got in touch with the Khi'eth letting them know they were mounting a rescue mission. Which means the Hiraga knew of Khi'eth's conditions, what kind of ship it was, what was the nature of its mission, and the kind of nebula they went into.
    When the Hiraga arrived at the nebula, they should have conducted a more thorough analysis of it to see if they need to make further modifications to see if they can survive the trip through the nebula, and if not, hold the position without entering the nebula and consult with Starfleet... and if they just went inside the nebula without any kind of regard and experienced similar problems Discovery did, why not retreat to outside the nebula? They would have had time to exit it at impulse like Booker's ship did.

    Bottom line is: we don't know whether what we saw was supposed to represent the TARDIS tech or if it was a VFX mistake.
    Most people are treating it as a mistake, not as TARDIS tech. It bears addressing whether the technology was integrated in the first place (so at least it would give maybe Disco crew ideas on how to make better use of it - and make them even more useful than 32nd century trained SF officers and engineers).

    Also, I would ask SF engineers, but sadly, since they are fictional, I guess the writers would be a good place to start (and fat chance we'll get a shot at that either - but if I did, I would be asking the questions with genuine curiosity... not bereavement).

    The internet does (less than 5 minutes search needed to see what previous technologies were used, what was said about them, etc. - they conveniently forgot that there were 2 versions of Slipstream for example, one that never needed Benamite crystals (and allowed 300 Ly's per hour), and the second one which did (and that the technology to synthesize them existed in the late 24th century - with R&D and hundreds of years later, it would be a piece of cake to make new ones - in fact, anyone with programmable matter could likely make them, and that technology seem to be abundantly pervasive in the 32nd century despite the Burn). Then there's the fact they have people working on the show who are supposed avid 'fans of Trek' and even claimed to have 'Trek science advisors'.

    So, these would be just some of the reasons I'd expect higher quality writing and the show not repeating past Trek show's mistakes. Its one thing if they make an honest mistake every once in a while, but to do it blatantly with every single episode? That's just indicative of lazy writing.

    What wouldn't be Trek enough?
    The writers knew that pushing the series so far ahead in the future would had to have come with massive (ridiculously larger) technological changes and so many other changes on a galactic level. Pushing the show 930 years beyond mid 23rd century and keeping it in the same universe with most data intact (like SF was shown to have retained) doesn't give you the excuse to ignore what happened before. You need to build on that... and need to do some decent research on the topic (which is incidentally what any good writer would do) to cover up majority of blind spots that could occur and plan ahead. They have 'teams of writers' for crying out loud... not just 1 person... how the heck can these people make so many freaking mistakes that are so 'basic'?

    Its like being given the ability to use the internet (and past Trek shows scripts) for research and then deciding not to use it 'because of reasons'.

    They could have also drawn from real life hypotheticals on what Type III and Type IV civilizations (on Kardashev scale) would look like and transposed that on Trek's 32nd century for example (which is what I mentioned before).
    Transwarp beaming is yet another 'nugget' that was never realized (that alone would have bypassed the Burn easily enough), as are alternative methods of power generation.
    In short, 23rd and 24th century Trek gave the writers PLENTY to work with to create a much more advanced setting compared to what we saw that was convincing and structure the stories around it - missed the ball on that one.

    Again, we may see some of this in Seasons 4 and 5, but I'm not so sure after what we saw in S3.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  8. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    your words. ;)

    Still, when a part of the plot relies on everyone being too stupid or incompetent to act I believe there is a problem.
     
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Basically magical tech that becomes inaccessible to the audience. Which I think is the fear of the writers is to talk over their audience.
    I'll assume the Hiraga attempted and was destroyed in the process. Wouldn't be the first time in Starfleet history.
    Until shown otherwise I will lean towards TARDIS tech.
    Yup, my words. I wrote them. Thankfully I was also lucid enough to know what they mean ;)

    I don't think they are stupid or incompetent. I think they are either afraid, or unwilling to take a risk. Now, I am presuming much which is fine-it is a speculative forum after all. But, if they regard the loss of two ships in a similar area of space how many more are they to risk in pursuit of this? Yes, risk is a part of Starfleet but at some point in time it would be a cost/benefit analysis. Since we don't know the exact layout of conflict and politics at this time then there is a reason. Again, speculation. But, I'm not going to assume based upon lack of evidence incompetence or stupidity. I would like to be far more charitable than that.

    Mileage will vary.
     
  10. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    IMHO there's absolutely no reason why you couldn't use far-future technology in a sci-fi setting (or Trek in particular). You'd just have to do one of two things, depending upon the character.
    • First, make it inscrutable. As Clarke said a long time ago, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. And viewers have no issue following fantasy. To be clear, I am not arguing that you need to make science fiction into science-fantasy. But you can have some or all of the characters in awe of the technology and dumbfounded by how it works - basically as stand ins for the viewer.
    • The second option, conversely, is to just have people within universe take it for granted. Basically, if it's a normal part of their universe, it's totally unremarkable. Just don't center the stories around the technical aspects of the universe, focusing instead on characters.
    The Expanse is decidedly not a far-future setting. It is much more grounded in reality than Trek, with basically everything (other than the Protomolecule) completely explainable by extrapolation of current science and technology. That said, it is notable that when it comes to scientific rigor, it mostly comes down to what is shown, versus what is told, with realistic depictions of what pouring drinks look like in low gravity, or what happens to the body during exposure to vacuum. The science and technology is all there and on display, but it's put in the background, and you don't need to understand it at all to follow the story. It's just something of an "Easter egg" for scientifically-minded superfans.
     
  11. nic3636

    nic3636 Commander Red Shirt

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    My point is, nobody in a position like that is going to be overcome by fear because 1 ship was lost. That's completely unrealistic.
    The Expanse is an excellent example of detailed storytelling and excellent worldbuilding. It's not perfect, but you can tell the writers put a lot of thought into everything. I've also read a couple of interesting articles on how good showrunners approach a serialized show. Every single plot point is scrutinized and they think about it both forward and backward to make sure it makes sense in terms of what already happened and what's going to happen. You also have to put enough dialogue in the show to explain why certain things happened without getting bogged down. It's not easy. Star Trek is even tougher cause you have to work within the confines of the fictional universe and respect canon.

    It's very clear to me that the showrunners on Discovery are focused on the emotional beats with the plot being secondary. Either that or the writers they have just aren't very good. When you have so many plot points that are either implausible or don't fit into the greater narrative to the point where fans have to do most of the work and speculate why things might make sense, you know you have a sub-par plot. Coming back to the Expanse, there are a couple of things I could gripe about but for the most part the storytelling is airtight. That's the thing I don't understand about Discovery, a lot of people either refuse to acknowledge the writing is sub-par or act like its unreasonable to expect better, and it's not.
     
  12. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Season 3 was a bit of an improvement, but in general I think the issue with Discovery is it's too much of a plot-focused show, rather than a character-focused show. Dialogue exists mostly to drive the plot forward, rather than to let us know the emotional states of the characters and their interrelationships. It's hard to recognize many coherent character arcs across the three seasons (and few that exist may have been by accident).

    Tilly is a great example of how the focus on plot has hurt the series overall. She is a good character, and Mary Wiseman has put in an excellent performance. But in order to keep a lowly ensign plot-relevant each week, her role in the show, her skillset, and even her characterization has been incredibly malleable. The writers didn't start with the idea they they had a great character and wanting showcase organic growth over time. They had a set series of plot points, and then needed to figure out contrivances to make sure she continued to more-or-less remain in the thick of things.

    As I noted, things have gotten better since Michelle Paradise took over. The characters can actually have sit-down talks about their feelings on things which are completely irrelevant to the plot. However, I think that this is another thing The Expanse does better, because when those discussions take place they're often pretty one note (one character shows vulnerability, and the other is a supportive ally).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
  13. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    People can expect better and the writing hasn't been perfect in Discovery. But, with the characters I track with them and their emotional moments so I am more gracious than others. Mileage will vary.

    ETA: Meant to add this. Even if the writing is sub-par what benefit is it for me to sit there and watch it and go "This is sub-par!" It's not additive to my enjoyment, it doesn't make the show better by me complaining about it, or me berating the writers in their absence.
     
  14. nic3636

    nic3636 Commander Red Shirt

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    That's an excellent point and I agree. Given what you said and that the plot isn't very good to begin with, maybe ditch the serialized approach or at least reduce the number of plot points that stretch across the entire season? I agree that Paradise is strongest when it comes to character development. Why not lean into that more and play to your strengths? I would think more stand-alone episodes or 2-3 episode mini-arcs would be a better format to develop your characters and not handcuff you by having to advance multiple season long plots every episode?
     
  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They probably will. I wouldn't be surprised by that in the slightest.
     
  16. nic3636

    nic3636 Commander Red Shirt

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    This is when it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the writers room, but I suspect if Paradise had her way they wouldn't be doing the serialized approach. It's probably either Kurtzman or some marketing person who thinks you need a mystery box like the burn stretched over the season to hype it up in promotions and keep interest. I don't have a problem with the serialized approach, it's fine if you have a good story to tell and are willing to put in the effort to make sure it all hangs together, but it's certainly not mandatory, and it does seem like a poor fit for Discovery.
     
  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think that Kurtzman likes the serialized approach. I think he wants that unique twist for Discovery specifically. How well that works is obviously going to vary and I think that with the push back on the Burn we will move to safer and safer Trek style storytelling.
     
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  18. SJGardner

    SJGardner Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I for one really hope we don't lose the serialized storytelling. There's always going to be hits and misses of course, but I already feel that my dwindling excitement and growing fatigue can be mostly chalked up to the writers playing it increasingly safer this season, almost as if in response to the loudest of internet criticism. I really wouldn't like to see Discovery gradually losing what makes it stand out from the Treks that came before. It might not be among the best TV of the decade and there are certainly more innovative series than it, but it is at least unique among Star Trek, warts and all. Granted, it would probably never reach that extreme, but I dread the day Discovery folds and becomes yet another captain-driven adventure-of-the-week series.
     
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  19. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given we know Strange New Worlds is going to be episodic, I see no reason for Discovery to go this route. It needs to do something to distinguish itself. Particularly because the decision was made (for better or worse) not to depict the 32nd century as all that different from the 23rd.
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would like that too but they already have moved away from what distinguish it with Burnham becoming captain. So, as much as I would like it to be unique it is shifting towards the pre-defined Star Trek box.