Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Dar70, May 4, 2020.
Okay, so it sounds like what you really disliked was the show’s pacing and not really the number of episodes, since even with fewer episodes per story, pacing could still be a problem. This does make more sense than blaming the number of episodes for what you perceive to be pacing issues.
I think the main problem is that the writers did one thing, while trying to convince you they did another:
DIS did this very well in regards to the "resurrection" of Dr. Culber - where it's an explicit point that he's not the original - that the original is dead in fact - and that he's a copy - who now has to cope with a major identity crisis.
I don't care for the exact specifics of each resurrection (mushroom zombie vs. elderly fragile android body) - but one of them is emotionally honest.
Picard's resurrection rings hollow, because they treat him as the original character - which he clearly isn't anymore - simply because they cannot have that type of identity crisis with the main character of their show, but still felt the need for a gratuitous sappy emotional death scene + resurrection.
Exactly. There was no point to it, no weight. They might explore Picard's mental state and how he's dealing with it all, but I doubt it. It'll be forgotten for the next big shiny plot device full of holes
Who knows? If you ask me - I think Dr. Culberts resurrection wasn't planned at all during S1, and is purely a reaction to the fan reactions, and them looking at what they have at hand, plot-wise.
In this regard, PIC season 2 might also delve deeper into this issue than we anticipate as of right now.
OTOH, they already have to think about a lot of other stuff going forward - why the hell everyone is still on that ship, for example! Picards mission is over, so what the hell are he, Jurati, Seven and esp. Soji still doing there? There's nothing holding them together or to that ship specifically anymore, it's going to be difficult to find a reason for them still being a band in S2 that won't be a stretch.
Don't get me started on Culber's death. Those two showrunners were so terrified of the fan backlash "how dare you kill a gay character" (wtf?) that they reassured everyone that "he wasn't really dead", on the aftershow immediately after the episode aired.
Apart from the SJW angle I'm not really sure why fans were so upset anyway. Culber's was (and remains) a nothing character at the time. Sure he's got his identity crisis in season 2, but as a character there's no foundation for us to care about that and in season 1, he was only there so the showrunners could include a gay relationship on the show.
Culbers' death was very problematic because it embodied multiple of the worst tropes - from BlackDudeDiesFirst to KillYourGays - basically everything that made minorities feel unwelcome and sidelined in the last decades of pop culture, and also showed the disregard for human life from the writers side that was so prevalent in season 1. It was also just bad writing - it didn't really leave an impact for any character in season 1 (even Stamets went back to business fast, the grief only really started in season 2), didn't advance the plot, and was basically only there for shock value.
I'm not a fan of DIS so far - but in this regard, they did what good writers should do: They identified a weak spot in their story, and tackled it in a natural way in season 2, and the result is all the better for it - I think Culberts arc was one of the characters highlights of season 2 and a genuine good story.
PS: Star Trek has always been, and should continue to be, "SJW" material.
Actually, Landry died first. Still not a good look for minorities, but it wasn't Culber.
Actually, Georgiou died first.
Let's see how long we can keep this going
In addition to the points @Rahul made, people were upset because after decades of advocating on the part of fans, writers and actors, a Trek show finally had canonically gay characters, only for one of them to be pointlessly and unceremoniously killed off after ten episodes. It's baffling how anyone in that writers room thought it would be a good idea.
It was their plan all along to bring Culber back. They said so the very day they killed him.
Why should gay characters be treated differently? Why should they have a protective shield just because they're gay? Do gay people want to be treated equally or do they want preferential treatment? We can't have it both ways. And I say we because I'm gay and I had zero problem with Culber dying, just as I had zero problem with any other character deaths on the show. The real problem is how terrified the showrunners were to kill him off they immediately walked the decision back in the post-show. The other real problem is just how nothing a character Culber was/is. I didn't care about his death because he wasn't developed in any way. Literally the only thing we know about him after two season is that he likes opera. The character is basically just a walking billboard so that Trek can shout that they finally have a gay couple. But narratively and creatively, he provided nothing else. His season 2 stuff could work, but let's see him actually offer something in season 3.
I rarely believe it when characters in the credits die.
95% of the casting on the show are either female or minorities, there was 1 straight white human male on the Discovery crew, Pike (likewise just Lorca in season 1), so it's hard to avoid killing minorities.
A similar thing happened with Into the Darkness with Kirk's "death" and then miraculous resurrection, except we already kind of knew that Kirk was going to somehow be back before the movie ended. It was only the 2nd movie in the series.
The 'anyone can die" trope has always been interesting, but even that can get worn out if done too much. Shock killing just for the sake shock is going to be recognized if its too obvious.
To be honest, I liked Picard a lot, but I don't feel like it was was the best thing ever. I enjoyed its stance on AI, and the bravery of having Picard upload himself (wow, what a change from TOS huh?), and Chabon often wrote some subtle dialogue that needs to seen more than once to really take effect, but the show never really reached a "wow" level for me.
Discovery so far edges it out on overall quality, though I do feel it will get some writing and acting award noms.
Then why would they bother with the drama? It's not good drama, it's not real drama. It's not even a good substitute for Game of Thrones "drama".
That's not something they should be proud of.
I like the show. The only episode I did not like ...but did like PARTS of...was the first full episode with Seven. Crazy Tonal shifts that did not work. it was like two different episodes crammed together.
Part of the problem as I see it is that our understanding of consciousness has expanded quite a bit since the 60's. We originally took it for granted when we were watching as kids that the person stepping off that transporter pad was the same person with the same continuity of consciousness they had when standing on the planet. As great thinkers have tried to figure out how that might be accomplished... it has become clear that it is probably the most unlikely tech in Star Trek.
Copying a consciousness MIGHT be possible. But probably not transferring a consciousness. The greatest hope for that might lie in slowly supplementing a brain with man made tech so that eventually the entire brain is artificial. That way the continuity isn't broken.
So, Star Trek is stuck with a legacy of a 'model of consciousness' between the transporter and other things that today's writers have to honor, but also add to in a new and believable way. It's a tough spot to be in. I choose to just accept it.
Its actually too difficult to say exactly how detailed and definitive such a consciousness transfer would be, but I am fairly positive something along these lines will be possible in the next 30-40 years, much less 2399.
We've also seen consciousness transfer in several different Trek eras, notably by a human researcher in Ira Graves, in season 2 TNG. I believe the transfer was accurate, it was Data's body and abilities that exaggerated his personality foibles.
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