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Archive for the ‘Star Trek’ Category

The Orville, S02E10 “Blood of Patriots”

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All spoilers ahead

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Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 10, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek, Television

The Orville S02E09, “Identity, Part 2”

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HUGE spoilers

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Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 1, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek, Television

The Orville S03E08 “Identity, Part 1”

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I just got around to watching.

Holy! That was totally unexpected.

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I think this is the best episode of The Orville up to this point in the series, so I should write some more. Spoilers ahead.

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Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 24, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek, Television

The Orville S02E06 “A Happy Refrain”

The ship’s doctor, Claire Finn, gets romantic with Isaac, the robot.

This was the most hilarious episode of a science fiction series that I have ever watched.

This season, The Orville is at is best when it’s a workplace dramedy in space. And at its worst when it tries to do earnest science fiction, like the previous week’s horrible episode about The Orville visiting a planet that believes in astrology.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 4, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Star Trek, Television

Star Trek Discovery S02E02

Better than the first episode of the season, but I don’t like where they are going with the religious crap, nor do I like Pike’s weird interpretation of the Prime Directive.

They find a planet with fugitives from Earth. That’s NOT an alien planet, that’s a planet with our own people on it, so it would not violate any version of the Prime Directive I’ve ever heard explained to provide them with answers about Earth and technological support. I have no doubt that Captain Kirk would have done the right thing. And this show is supposed to take place before TOS and not during the more uptight and morally preachy TNG error.

Also, Captain Kirk would be pissed off at aliens passing themselves off as “angels,” and not in any way moved or awed by it. Remember the lesson of Who Mourns for Adonais? “Mankind has no need for Gods.”

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 28, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek, Television

The Orville S02E05 “All the World Is Birthday Cake”

I was very disappointed with this episode, the weakest so far of the season, and perhaps even the series.

They make first contact with a new planet. Why does everyone on this planet speak English? OK, I get that The Orville is an homage to Star Trek, and in Star Trek aliens always speak English, and the reason is that if aliens spoke a foreign language that no one in Star Fleet could understand, then they wouldn’t be able to have all those episodes with cool stories about Riker and those guys getting into all sorts of trouble with alien races.

Another problem with the alien planet is that it appears to have a single government and single culture (a monoculture) for the entire planet, which happens every single planet they come across. The only planet we know of with intelligent life, that is our own planet, is balkanized with many governments and many cultures, so it’s logical to assume that most other pre-space-faring planets would also be like that. But once again, they are copying Star Trek.

So let’s get to the REAL problems with this episode.

It’s totally believable that an alien race would have stupid beliefs that our obviously false to those not indoctrinated in the belief system. So it’s believable that the planet could have astrology as their religion, but it’s absolutely NOT believable that people who appear to have the same level of technology as 21st century Earth would not be aware that planets in other solar systems would have different solar years and their sun would not be in the same part of the sky at the same time. And if the other solar system was far enough away, the sky would be totally different and they wouldn’t see the same constellations.An no one from the Orville even tries to make any of these arguments.

When dealing with an advanced alien species, putting their people in prison seems like a bad idea, even if you find them disgusting or repugnant. People rational enough to create an advanced civilization would be rational enough to know that the smart thing to do would be to not antagonize aliens. Telling Captain Mercer to take his people off the planet would make so much more sense. And once again, I never even heard Mercer say “why pay money to keep them in prison, we’ll just take our people off your hands and we’ll never come back.”

So I couldn’t get past all of the stuff in this episode that doesn’t make any sense. Big thumbs down.

* * *

However, I liked Ted Danson as an admiral. And it’s intriguing that hired an actress with a prole Rustbelt accent to replace Alara. That’s Jessica Szohr, and I couldn’t quite recognize her under all the alien makeup, but I now remember that she played a prole girl on Gossip Girl.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 26, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek, Television

Star Trek TOS, S02E06 “The Doomsday Machine”

Next episode I will review is “Catspaw” (which I believe will be a very bad episode).

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I think this episode is somewhat overrated. Viewers in the 1960s watching it for the first time probably thought it was a great episode, no doubt a lot better than the campy previous episode (The Apple) where primitive shirtless natives worship an ancient computer while Chekov makes out with a cute Yeoman, but I don’t think it holds up well fifty years later. Nevertheless, there are some Trek fans who think this episode is among the best of TOS.

The updated special effects are very obvious here. I would actually prefer if they showed me the episode how it looked when it originally aired, so I can see what the show originally looked like.

We have this planet-destroying machine that’s going around destroying planets, and it’s headed for “the most densely populated section of our galaxy.” Kirk immediately declares that it’s a “doomsday” machine.

KIRK: It’s a weapon built primarily as a bluff. It’s never meant to be used. So strong, it could destroy both sides in a war. Something like the old H-Bomb was supposed to be. That’s what I think this is. A doomsday machine that somebody used in a war uncounted years ago. They don’t exist anymore, but the machine is still destroying.

How could Kirk possibly know all that? He couldn’t, the writers are just putting those words into his mouth because they want to make a point about nuclear war. In a sense, they have so far been proven right, there has never been a major war between nuclear armed powers. Both sides are too afraid to go there. But we need to worry about countries with a martyr complex, like Iran, joining the nuclear club.

It’s a pretty crappy “doomsday” machine if it can easily be destroyed by sending a big bomb into it. Maybe the aliens in another galaxy believed in a God who wanted to reduce the number of planets, so they built a planet eating machine. That makes at least as much sense as it being a “doomsday” machine.

This is also the second episode just this season where there’s a planet-destroying super-machine on the loose. Remember The Changeling?

There’s also a constant theme in Star Trek that whenever someone with a higher rank than Kirk is aboard the Enterprise, this spells disaster. In this case, the “Commodore” of another ship insists that he has the right to take command, and Spock agrees because of Star Fleet regulations (and Kirk is offship and out of communication range). Spock then watches as Commodore Decker goes kamikaze against the indestructible alleged doomsday machine. (Except that it turns out not to be indestructible, they were just using the wrong type of weapon to attack it.)

Unlike in last season’s Galileo Seven where crewmembers were racist against Spock because he’s Vulcan, in this episode it’s implied that the crew is loyal to Spock, and if he ordered Commodore Decker to get lost, he’d have the full support of the crew. Finally, Spock does remove Decker from command, and everyone watching cheers with relief that the moron is no longer in charge.

Star Fleet Command must have a management strategy of promoting the most incompetent Captains to Commodore.

And Star Fleet Command also hires only the most incompetent people as security guards. Here we have yet ANOTHER episode where a single security guard is escorting Decker, and Decker overpowers him and steals a shuttlecraft. Don’t they EVER learn their lesson?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 22, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek

The Orville S02E04 “Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes” vs Star Trek Discovery S02E01 “Brother”

There are big spoilers for the Orville episode. No spoilers for the DIS episode because there’s nothing in it worth spoiling.

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Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 20, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek, Television

The Orville S02E03 “Home”

Spoilers

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Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 14, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Star Trek, Television

Star Trek TOS, S02 E05, “The Apple”

Next episode I will review is “The Doomsday Machine.” Sorry for skipping “Mirror, Mirror,” but that’s definitely one you should watch.

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Not one of the best episodes of TOS, but still a lot better than the The Alternative Factor.

Named after the Apple that the snake gave to Eve in the Garden of Eden that gave mankind the knowledge of good and evil. The Enterprise investigates a planet that is compared to Eden because the weather is so nice, although I’m dubious. It looks more like a cheap set than Eden.

I can’t help but notice that Shatner has some man-boobs and a start of a pot-belly poking out of his tight uniform. He must have eaten too many Star Fleet rations between the end of Season 1 and the start of Season 2. Now that I think about it, we haven’t seen him take his shirt off yet this season.

Chekov, his wig dialed down from the first episode of the season, spends most of this episode hitting on an airheaded Yeoman, and there’s a great make-out scene!

There’s a cringeworthy scene in which the members of the landing party are too shy or sexually inhibited to talk about how the natives of the planet might reproduce.

Several red-shirts are killed. Those guys are so useless. Once again, we wonder why Starfleet can’t hire competent security officers.

Spock and McCoy have an interesting moral argument about whether they have a right to mess with the primitive natives’ computer-led system of government, which involves them being told what to do by an ancient computer, and the ancient computer ensuring that they have immortality. Spock says that their setup works for them, who are Starfleet to interfere with what works? But Kirk takes McCoy’s side of the argument. Besides, destroying the ancient computer, which the natives worship as their god, Vaal, is the only way to prevent the Enterprise from being pulled into the planet and destroyed.

After nothing else works, they are finally able to destroy Vaal by firing the ship’s phasers at it. Which made me wonder, why didn’t they just do that in the first place?

Although Kirk did not destroy the computer this time by talking it into committing suicide, we still have the message that powerful computers are really bad and they must be destroyed. If Kirk ever encountered a Data-like robot, he’d surely order it to be destroyed.

This episode also has an anti-religion message. We can see how stupid the primitives are to worship a computer as a god, but advanced aliens would look down upon our worship of God or Jesus as being just as stupid.

We never get any explanation for how the natives’ society got set up like that in the first place.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 8, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek

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