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The Human Adventure Continues: Talking About Star Trek

First real teaser for Star Trek: Prodigy just went up


Looks fantastic!

Edit: So did the trailer for Lower Decks Season 2


See if you can spot the Jeffrey Combs cameo.

Mid-August can't come soon enough!
 
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Seriously, CBS, what do you have against non-Americans watching the commercials for your show?
It's a distribution/legal thing. Crave has the distribution rights in Canada for these shows, and that includes CMs and promotional stuff. It's not CBS's fault, blame IP/copyright laws.

Edit: These should be able to be accessible internationally:

 
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Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I meant to put this up months ago but

Penumbra/Till Death Do Us Part

Let's see, not really into the Worf/Ezra stuff, particularly the reveal that THE BREEN HAVE JOINED THE OTHER SIDE! NOT THE BREEN, ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE STAR TREK RACES THAT EVERYONE KNOWS AND CARES ABOUT! THIS IS A BIG DEAL, AUDIENCE! I MEAN, WEYOUN JUST SAID SO! I also feel like the destination of Sisko's story is pretty obvious (pretty sure Yates is gettin' fridged), so I'm not as interested in his issue. The best stuff was actually the Dukat stuff. I maintain the character's arc was basically completed seasons ago and now its a mix of more of the same and Lex Luthor-y plotting but it helps that its really a story about Winn, a character who has been slightly more sympathetic in the last few season and revisiting the stuff that made us love to hate her but also having it be a tragedy where the enemy is preying on her ambition, self-righteousness and xenophobia. I like that this character gets to have depth while the audience can still hiss and boo her. It actually stands in contrast to Dukat, who gets some good episodes still but I feel like there's not more to mine with the character.
 
I love the Breen.

So Breen have prior to this been mentioned here and there, even in TNG. Never seen on screen. Here is why they rule - it's to show the meaningless of Dominion promises. They aren't a thing unto themselves, (Do not unspoiler if you are watching for first time):

they are a motivator for secret s7 MVP: Damar
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
I loved the Enterprise episode with Jeffrey Combs, Ethan Phillips, and Clint Howard as Ferengi. Nothing really new plotwise, but just great to see three Trek veterans (two of whom with Ferengi experience) playing off one another and doing what they're good at.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Almost done.

Strange Bedfellows
The Changing Face of Evil
When It Rains...
Tacking the Wind


At this point, after watching them, they kind of run together with their various threads. So I'll judge them on that...

Let's see...
As Chud noted, the Breen don't work as a cliffhanger or as characters but work well as a plot point, particularly in that they have the same sort of swagger and assumed superiority and "might makes right" mentality as the Cardassians. They are "better" but really just the same and it works well for Damar. I like his arc. Its not a heel turn. He never seems like he's feeling bad about his misdeeds. But unlike Dukat, once Damar sobers up, he's pragmatic and practical and believes in something beyond himself. He'll never be good or redeem himself but, ironically, he can do good and it is a smart journey for the character who is primarily a flunky in a much of the series and it culimates well in Dogs of War. Kira's story is good too but much of it is in favour of Damar's. I don't mind necessarily that the don't dig into Kira's mixed feelings too heavily but it certainly plays into the performance.
Sisko doesn't really get to do a lot here except calm before the storm stuff of enjoying his marriage
Kinds don't care about Ezri/Bashir.
Worf's story is pretty good. Throwing him into Klingon politics is almost invariably a great way to distract us that he's basically reverted to a petulant brat when it comes to his social life.
I really liked the start of Kai Winn's story but it feels like its petered out in trying to keep the story kicking until they come back for the finale.

Extreme Measures


There's a little bit of padding here but overall its a good episode. Despite who the episode is ostensibly about saving, it really is a Bashir/O'Brien story and it feels like their last ride together, presumably because for the finale it'll make more sense for them to be in their stations. I really like the idea of part of Sloan wanting to be open and then killing that part of him on his deathbed. So much of the character felt like hollow posturing and I like taking time to show he believed in what he did but also really liked Bashir and felt regretful not for his actions for the personal relationships he sacrificed for them but that despite everything, he'd probably do everything again. The end of "tempting Julian with greedy secret" seemed a little on the nose but overall I liked it. I also like the moment where the two sort their friend feelings out.

The Dogs of War

Good table setting episode. I like Bashir seriously taking to task the problem with Sisko's pragmatism in the face of genocide. Like we've been here before but I like the reminder that in the war, some of our heroes sacrificed certain moral high grounds and there are still choices to be made. Pretty safe to say how even a darker trek like DS9 will end the cure for the Founders but they play it well. The Kira arc is the best and though this isn't the best Quark story, its fun enough and a good way to end this part of the series.

Can't wait to see the finale!
 
So great bit with Damar, is that he has this one last encounter with Dukat, when Dukat gets his plastic surgery. And Dukat, by this point, is the satan of the DS9 story. But he gives good, loving, advice to Damar, as an equal, that pushes him into rebellion. It's really awesome
 
Re: Johnny reaching the end of DS9:
Kinds don't care about Ezri/Bashir.
I feel like nobody making the show did, because they dedicate way more time and effort to Bashir's and Ezri's other relationships like Bashir/O'Brien. Like, there's even a gay love confession. Ezri/Bashir feels like Rick Berman mandate. I actually kinda like them hooking up in theory now that both are changed people and have grown a lot. But the show is way more interested in showing how that affects say, Worf, than to actually make a convincing romance of its own.

I really liked the start of Kai Winn's story but it feels like its petered out in trying to keep the story kicking until they come back for the finale.
Kai Winn's entire plotline in the 7th Season is just so weird. Because it happens almost entirely divorced from the rest of the show. She's basically just hanging out by herself and stops having anything to do with anyone else. It makes sense for where they eventually take it, but it's just so disjointed and kinda inorganic. And it's all in service to wrapping up a plot thread that's really the least interesting part of DS9.

this isn't the best Quark story, its fun enough and a good way to end this part of the series.
Lotta people dislike that last episode because it basically establishes Quark as having not grown in the slightest during the course of the show. But I kinda like that? Quark isn't a good person. There are times he does the right thing, but overwhelmingly he's still a scuzzy, manipulative, chauvanistic, greedy, capitalist. His escapades are fun, but we're not meant to root for him. And it was a wonderful juxtoposition of showing him clutching his metaphorical MAGA cap and refusing to change with the times, versus his brother who showed a lot of real growth over the series and turned into someone you really can root for.
 
Lotta people dislike that last episode because it basically establishes Quark as having not grown in the slightest during the course of the show. But I kinda like that? Quark isn't a good person. There are times he does the right thing, but overwhelmingly he's still a scuzzy, manipulative, chauvanistic, greedy, capitalist. His escapades are fun, but we're not meant to root for him. And it was a wonderful juxtoposition of showing him clutching his metaphorical MAGA cap and refusing to change with the times, versus his brother who showed a lot of real growth over the series and turned into someone you really can root for. [/spoiler]
Quark's final scene with Odo is chef kiss.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
Apparently Jeffrey Combs really wanted the showrunners to have a moment where Brunt and Weyoun bump into each other and give each other a puzzled look.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
I learned something mindblowing about DS9 after listening to the Mission Log podcast.

This guy



was also this guy.

 
Love it. It's weird too because these two in particular could probably easily reprise their characters in live action if they want. (Do it CBS! Do it you cowards!)

Also friendly reminder: LDS S2 starts in like two days! I can't wait!
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Finished DS9

What You Leave Behind

I was told this one was disappointing but I rather liked it... despite some definite flaws. I didn't need the "great moments from DS9" clip reel, which felt hokey. It was a mood set better by Vic's musical number because despite not featuring the characters too much, it felt like an emotional breathing spot. As much as I mock the character for playing a roll a little TOO similar to an audience insert in fan fiction (EVERYONE likes him or respects him and defers to him and his advice is always perfect and sets people on better courses), it did feel good.

As for the big stuff...

The big final battle was fine. I didn't have any issues with some of the big moments of the Dominion War finale. The weakest stuff is Kai Winn and Dukat. When Winn's story started here, I liked moments and the idea of where her corruption came from but it soon felt rocky as it went on. But I wasn't prepared for how dumb that finale climax was. It wasn't even "awful" in an unwatchable way, just really, really dumb. Winn had been built in the last season as a bit more complex and now she's just a supervillain who has a last minute play to help Sisko. Dukat is just a supervillain. Sisko wins by destroying a McGuffin. Its very silly and feels like it was turning its back on the more complex, mature show I was watching in favor of a Flash Gordon adventure tale. Its like Game of Thrones in microcosm in that respect. If anything, it makes me feel even more strongly that Dukat's story should have ended when he lost his daughter and DS9. Like, he could have kicked around but I didn't care for the show trying to keep him fresh and having him be a little too cartoonish in his villainy. Heck, he's always been Kira's villain, even if he was the show's villain. The two of them facing off doesn't interest me, particularly in this capacity.

But I still liked this and the last arc as a whole. It not one of my favourite finales but I feel like for its faults, it didn't shit the bed. It just had a bit of excess show that I didn't need.


Something I noticed just a day after watching this... whatever happened to the Maquis? Was there an episode that dealt with that because if so, I completely forgot it.
 
Something I noticed just a day after watching this... whatever happened to the Maquis? Was there an episode that dealt with that because if so, I completely forgot it.
It's discussed in the Season 5 episode, "Blaze of Glory".


TL;DR - The Cardassians, with the help of the Dominion, basically ruthlessly wipe all of them out.
 
There's a little followup on this in Voyager which was airing concurrently with a half Maquis crew.

They're obviously off doing their own thing, but it does come up from time to time, including a former Maquis crew member reacting to learning the news of them being wiped out.

 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
If anything, it makes me feel even more strongly that Dukat's story should have ended when he lost his daughter and DS9. Like, he could have kicked around but I didn't care for the show trying to keep him fresh and having him be a little too cartoonish in his villainy. Heck, he's always been Kira's villain, even if he was the show's villain. The two of them facing off doesn't interest me, particularly in this capacity.
That's because we already had the big ideological (and physical) throw-down between Sisko and Dukat in "Waltz". I've long maintained that Dukat should have died in that episode, because it really feels like the showrunners just didn't know what to do with him after that.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
That's because we already had the big ideological (and physical) throw-down between Sisko and Dukat in "Waltz". I've long maintained that Dukat should have died in that episode, because it really feels like the showrunners just didn't know what to do with him after that.
Also, I feel like Dukat and Winn just die are pretty boring ends to the characters in the finale. They are just et by fire monsters. I feel like Dukat deserves some sort of non-death fate of existential horror and that Winn... well, as much as it sucks, maybe her end isn't a cathartic death but something that sticks around to be challenged, because in the murkier Trek series it feels right that not everyone is going to get a clean, just ending that satisfies everyone.

Watched the DS9 documentary directly after, too. Its pretty good. Wow, I heard Marc Alaimo was a creep but I wasn't prepared for how, like, proud he seemed to be of it. Seems like art imitated life there.
 
I really dislike a lot of mid-DS9's attempts to humanize and make a sympathetic character out of Gul Dukat. The guy was literally Space Hitler! I don't want to like him! I'm fine with him being a super villain at the end of the show because moustache twirling is when he was at his best and when I was most comfortable with him. IMO his whole arc played out like the writers weren't exactly comfortable with fans liking or identifying the character and decided to just get really heavy handed with reminding the audience hey, this guy is a BAD dude, you're supposed to hate him.

The stuff with him in the finale didn't really work not because of any focus on any one character, but just because broadly DS9's entire long running experiment with exploring religiosity and attempts at confronting 90s religious zealots by trying to reconcile religion as not being antithetical to science just fell extremely flat in general.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I'm fine with him being a super villain at the end of the show because moustache twirling is when he was at his best and when I was most comfortable with him.
But the show itself is at its best when it is dealing with far weightier stuff than SPACE DEMONS!. Having the show end with a big dumb plan is far less interesting to me than the Dominion War. At that point the evil face I'm much more interested in is Weyoun's smiling condescending face.
 
But the show itself is at its best when it is dealing with far weightier stuff than SPACE DEMONS!. Having the show end with a big dumb plan is far less interesting to me than the Dominion War. At that point the evil face I'm much more interested in is Weyoun's smiling condescending face.
Sidebar: Garak and Weyoun's confrontation. Awesome
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
This is such a weird hang up to me. Most of the articulated opinions I've read on the internet why this is a bad episode, is because they don't like Serious Business Man Captain Archer being a Bad Starfleet Captain™️ by caring more about his 'stupid dog' instead of the huge diplomatic row he's created down on this planet.

Replying to an old post here, but I just watched this episode (A Night in Sickbay). I agree, to me this was one of the most believably flawed and human portrayals of any Trek captain. Have the fans who hate this one never owned a dog?
 
Lower Decks Season 2 just kicked off like an hour ago. And it's sooooooo good. I'm so happy this show is back. Eight seasons and a movie pls!!! The ending scene where Riker's distorted gluon face is just rippling with glee as he exclaims "I love my job!" while things go completely sideways had me rolling. Same with Dr T'Ana running off to find a boulder.

Replying to an old post here, but I just watched this episode (A Night in Sickbay). I agree, to me this was one of the most believably flawed and human portrayals of any Trek captain. Have the fans who hate this one never owned a dog?
I'm sure many do, but those kinda people are just mad a dog is on the ship in general as well. There's a really weird and scourgey segment of Trek fandom that's in it because they want to watch a show about a space military. They fetishize the militaristic aspects and they get upset any time any of the shows have moments that break decorum. Bringing a pet along on a starship is a big no-no, that wouldn't fly in the military! (Please ignore the entire premise of Enterprise as a show, where they start out as glorified astronauts and Starfleet isn't quite there yet. Also ignore all the other times we've seen pets allowed in Starfleet in other shows.)
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
I'm sure many do, but those kinda people are just mad a dog is on the ship in general as well. There's a really weird and scourgey segment of Trek fandom that's in it because they want to watch a show about a space military. They fetishize the militaristic aspects and they get upset any time any of the shows have moments that break decorum. Bringing a pet along on a starship is a big no-no, that wouldn't fly in the military! (Please ignore the entire premise of Enterprise as a show, where they start out as glorified astronauts and Starfleet isn't quite there yet. Also ignore all the other times we've seen pets allowed in Starfleet in other shows.)

Don't get me wrong, I did think "you took your dog on a diplomatic mission?!" But like you've said, for me that translated more to "Archer is a headstrong, moody person and makes mistakes," not "this episode is terrible."
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
So having watched DS9, here's my takeaway:
DS9 really started to succeed creatively when it stepped away from some of the formulas of the previous Trek series. Granted, that's a bit baked into the pilot with the promise of being tied to a few planets and races rather than roaming the universe but there were still a few "weird race or interplanetary jaunt of the week" stories. And some of them are good. But its not just that DS9 is darker but it seems to do what Roddenberry didn't want to... ask questions like "how far have we come and how quickly can we be dragged away from, if not our core values, then just means". It feels like it wants to ask how much is this progress really possible. Its a far cry than on early TNG where they set up some basic human feelings are things we moved passed in the future (see The Neutral Zone and the idea that maybe people just don't fear death as much anymore, which is an interesting idea that never feels like it is reflected in the series)

But the stuff I like best is when it ventures into John LaCarre-territory, de-romanticizing espionage while still telling gripping tales. I mean, it sort of does the same thing with war but to a lesser degree, in that everyone hates the war but its also an exciting adventure at times (I can't remember who said it but someone said cinematic dynamicism makes it impossible to make a complete anti-war story in the visual medium). Still, it works and I think it justifies the shades of gray far beyond simply "isn't it cool they are tortured." I think this is why I think my favourite relationship is (romantic spoilers) Kira/Odo but not romantically. Romantically, I don't HATE it but its far less interesting to me for it to be a much more complex friendship based on a weird shared past.

Its a shame Jadzia never quite worked, at least for me. She isn't a BAD character, I like that she's a bit like a lady Riker in that she really wants to suck the marrow out of life and have as many fun experiences as possible but idea of the Trill is less interesting in practice than in theory and her central relationship post-season 4 was... not good. I think having a very optimistic but savvy character is a great choice and the actress did great work but I don't know if they found the right way to utilize her on the show.

But the cast is really stellar, even an actor or two I was not into early on became killer (Sidding and his character both really improved as the show did by a lot). And despite the fact that this was a more violent series, it still doesn't feel like the action franchise that it seemed to getting pushed towards when TNG made the jump to the big screen (how many spaceship battles end with the captain sneaking onto the enemy ship and beating up the evil captain). I've made no bones that I think there's one major character whose story could have ended earlier than it did but nonetheless, it remained a strong show once it hit its stride.
 
DS9 feels like two shows in retrospect. The series was inspired by The Rifleman, where a widower and his young son move into unfamiliar territory and learn to live with the people who visit their small town on a regular basis. Up to, oh, season four, the series was relatively low stakes. Weird stuff would happen on the station, and Sisko would have to find ways to deal with it, while also raising his son and mending his own broken heart after the death of his wife. And after, oh, maybe half of the first season, it was good enough. It was diverting television, if not a masterpiece.

But then Ron Moore took the reins, said "I'm sick of all this syrupy frontier drama. Nobody asked for Doctor Quinn: Medicine Woman in space!" And we got Commander Worf and a new direction for the series, one that leaned really hard on space combat and difficult moral dilemmas, with the formerly mysterious but now actively threatening Dominion on the forefront. The freshly promoted Captain Sisko, formerly stoic and passive, was now more intense, angry, and with little patience for bureaucracy or disobedience from his crew. While the post-hair Sisko years were objectively better than what had come before, it's a little disheartening that Jake got pushed into the background.

Jake proved that Ben Sisko had a core of warmth hidden beneath his stony professionalism and occasional displays of bemusement, but at some point, the Captain just didn't have time or interest in those tender family moments. It reminds me a bit of Batman: The Animated Series. For all his crime fighting skill and brooding while wearing the cape, Bruce Wayne was a decent, caring man. He tried his best to reform his friend Harvey Dent, and his partnership with the first Robin was rooted in an almost parental compassion, and an effort to help him cope with a shared tragedy. Once the show moved to the WB and was renamed The New Adventures of Batman, all that empathy just evaporated. He had given up on Harvey, treating him like any other criminal whose jaw made a good target for his fist, and his relationship with the new Robin was all business. "First you give me everything you've got. Then you give me more," he growled as the two sparred in a gym.

I feel like Benjamin Sisko went through that same transformation, and it's what I slightly resent about the Moore half of the series. Remember that conversation he had with
Ezri, the heir of the Dax symbiote,
in an early episode of season seven? I realize it was tough love, but there was a lot more "tough" there than "love." After that, the once genial relationship between Sisko and Dax, which helped justify Terry Farrell's presence on the show, just went into the toilet. He no longer had time for Dax, either.
 
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