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Star Trek: Discovery
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Doc HM
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Sep 28, 2017, 11:49 AM
 
So first two episodes on Netflix. What do we think?

The theme tune is absolutely appalling, no tune at all. Ghastly. Luckily that means it's only upwards from there.
I don't know what the budget is but so far it has a curiously constrained feel to it, even though it started out on a wide open desert planet. The rest had a sort of Sky Captain feel to it. I imagine a fair portion of the sets are digital which locks the camera's off?

interesting characters from Star Fleet so far. I see the Klingons have changed. Again!
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Sep 28, 2017, 01:26 PM
 
The special effects are awesome. The plot has gone in a very interesting direction so far. Not really feeling how they have the Klingons speaking like they have a mouth full of rocks. Really loved the lead actor from her Walking Dead days. It'll be interesting where she takes this very different character.

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Sep 28, 2017, 02:34 PM
 
Its visually spectacular but it took all of 30 seconds to irritate me with poorly thought through science going on throughout both episodes. And it looks like once again we are going to see the galaxy's stuffiest organisation punish and insubordinate asshat with command of a starship. At least this one wasn't on her first day out of school.
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Sep 28, 2017, 03:22 PM
 
What constitutes poorly thought out science in Star Trek?
     
OAW
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Sep 28, 2017, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What constitutes poorly thought out science in Star Trek?
Flying at a high speed through an asteroid field at crazy high speeds in a space suit? As if the only debris one needs to be worried about are the huge rocks the size of small buildings? In a real situation it's the multitude of small rocks you couldn't see against darkness of space that would be more likely to punch a hole through your body.

But it was a helluva scene though!

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Sep 28, 2017, 03:35 PM
 
Having to drill a hole in the crust of a planet before dropping a black hole. Sounds in a vacuum. Ability of out-of-phase people to walk through walls, but not to fall through floors. Or have trouble breathing. Loss of power in a ship does not affect internal gravity. Almost no restrooms in large ships.
     
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Sep 28, 2017, 04:34 PM
 
All of these are explainable.

Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Having to drill a hole in the crust of a planet before dropping a black hole.
Perhaps without doing so the black hole would grow too quickly and prevent escape?

Sounds in a vacuum.
Universal translator picks up electromagnetic waves and coverts them to audible sound.

Ability of out-of-phase people to walk through walls, but not to fall through floors. Or have trouble breathing.
Multiphase flooring and atmospheric generators.

Loss of power in a ship does not affect internal gravity.
Inertial dampeners operate using centrifugal force - loss of power does not immediately stop the centrifuges as they conserve momentum, but they slowly wind down after extended periods of no power.


Almost no restrooms in large ships.
This can be explained by use of transporter technology. Why waste time in the bathroom when the transporters can directly solve the problem? It's also why the uniforms don't have zippers.
     
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Sep 28, 2017, 07:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What constitutes poorly thought out science in Star Trek?
Having to drop a massive starship into the atmosphere to pick up two idiots from the desert and still using transporters. Theres a reason the Enterprise didn't go around landing all the time. Several in fact I'd bet.

Calculating the arrival time of a sandstorm without any instrumentation whatsoever. No-ones is that good at estimating the position, velocity and course of a big ****-off storm, especially not without years of specific local knowledge. Doesn't matter how clever you think you are. Not down to fractions of a second, not even close. Ask any storm chaser. Just makes you sound like an arrogant, lying dick.

Having to talk a computer into letting you take a risk to save your life. It would be way ahead of you and giving you tips.


Warping a fleet of ships into such close proximity as a ship thats already there, each other and an asteroid field. If that ship decides to move, both ships die. You'd give them way more room, even if you're a Klingon. If you want to share a warp bubble, thats something entirely different. But it isn't what happened.

I'm sure there was reams more of it throughout.
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Sep 28, 2017, 07:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
This can be explained by use of transporter technology. Why waste time in the bathroom when the transporters can directly solve the problem? It's also why the uniforms don't have zippers.
This seems like an OTT solution. What about super advanced gut fauna that can convert your food into odourless, 100% gaseous products instead? I guess they'd have to be oxygen rich too or maybe starships are packing much better ventilation than we realised.
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subego
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Sep 28, 2017, 09:20 PM
 
It's hard to judge a lot of these without having seen it, but these don't sound abnormal for Star Trek. It's always been kind of on the soft end of the sci-fi scale.
     
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Sep 28, 2017, 10:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
This seems like an OTT solution. What about super advanced gut fauna that can convert your food into odourless, 100% gaseous products instead? I guess they'd have to be oxygen rich too or maybe starships are packing much better ventilation than we realised.
Ahh i like the thinking. Maybe it's nanobots. That's right, millions of tiny machines who's sole purpose is to eat your shit and convert it into something useful, like patrick stewart's head.
     
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Sep 28, 2017, 11:37 PM
 
Meh, wasn't impressed.
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Sep 29, 2017, 12:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It's hard to judge a lot of these without having seen it, but these don't sound abnormal for Star Trek. It's always been kind of on the soft end of the sci-fi scale.
Actually 'proper' Trek always took great pains to be as scientifically accurate as it could. Within reason. The warp engines were based on theoretically feasible physics and had a feasible power supply in the anti-matter reactor that powered them. In fact the warp core as far as I know is a viable supply to run all the transporters and replicators and phasers and shields as well, all of which would require tremendous energy to work. Yes, there were oversights like the transporters having issues around pattern buffers and insufficient memory to store a person indefinitely, artificial range issues, and of course they didn't use them to just cure people of pretty much anything and everything either by extrapolation or by referring to a recent backup, but the basics they were usually pretty good on.
They had NASA consultants on TNG. One of them once called a producer and asked "How do your Heisenberg Compensators work?" The eventual reply was "Very nicely, thank you."

Transporters are actually the key to so much other tech that Roddenberry and co didn't envision when they first came up with them. If you have transporters, you also have replicators for example. As mentioned you can cure diseases, replace any body part short of the brain and spinal column (and maybe even some of that), you could reverse ageing easily enough. Then theres the possibility for modifications. Computers with the power they have and a database of alien biology, you could give yourself extra eyes with x-ray vision, more limbs, a tail, wings, tentacles, whatever you like really. All organic, or you go Borg-style, though for some reason they decided two legs and two arms and one head was the most efficient configuration a lifeforms could have. Actually The Borg don't stand up to much logical scrutiny as cool an idea as they are.

The other thing about transporters they don't have in Trek is spiritual or religious objections. If you believe in souls, there is no way you'd get beamed anywhere. Though you'd also likely start to believe that everyone you knew who had beamed anywhere was no longer the person you knew, like some kind of inverse imposter or body snatchers syndrome, then you'd go mad from paranoia.
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Sep 29, 2017, 02:20 AM
 
The intro is a bit weird, but I found the visual style stunning: instead of trying to straddle the constraints that were imposed by a 1960s series (why did the Enterprise NX-01 insist on using buttons when better technology was available when the Enterprise aired?), it jettisons it and bases everything off of what we have now: touch screens are ubiquitous and we speak to our devices already. The interior shots were gorgeous and everything was a fresh take on what Star Fleet ships look like, it was unmistakably still Star Fleet. Personally, I don't like the design of the Discovery, I preferred some earlier drafts of the ship, but hey, that's ok.

As far as characters go, I like very much the much larger diversity (aliens vs. humans), and I was sorry to see the Captain die. She would have made an interesting addition to the mix. I can't say much about the main character yet, but I found it weird that someone who was trained on Vulcan would go to such extremes by instigating a mutiny in the first episode. I'll reserve my judgement on what could either be a bold move or a very stupid one. They must have a very good idea on how to proceed with the story since the main character will be sentenced to jail time for mutiny in the next episode (at least that is what the preview leads us to believe).

Let's see how many characters are actually being kept and what the standard episode format will be.
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Doc HM  (op)
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Sep 29, 2017, 04:20 AM
 
I like the starfleet alien guy. For Trek he seems to have a least a somewhat alien though process and the actor has made efforts to make him move and gesture in a more alien manner. All other Trek aliens move and think just like humans.
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Sep 29, 2017, 07:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Ability of out-of-phase people to walk through walls, but not to fall through floors.
They use the same trick disintegrators use to annihilate a person and the clothes they're wearing, but not the chair they're sitting in.
     
subego
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Sep 29, 2017, 07:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Actually 'proper' Trek always took great pains to be as scientifically accurate as it could. Within reason. The warp engines were based on theoretically feasible physics and had a feasible power supply in the anti-matter reactor that powered them. In fact the warp core as far as I know is a viable supply to run all the transporters and replicators and phasers and shields as well, all of which would require tremendous energy to work. Yes, there were oversights like the transporters having issues around pattern buffers and insufficient memory to store a person indefinitely, artificial range issues, and of course they didn't use them to just cure people of pretty much anything and everything either by extrapolation or by referring to a recent backup, but the basics they were usually pretty good on.
They had NASA consultants on TNG. One of them once called a producer and asked "How do your Heisenberg Compensators work?" The eventual reply was "Very nicely, thank you."

Transporters are actually the key to so much other tech that Roddenberry and co didn't envision when they first came up with them. If you have transporters, you also have replicators for example. As mentioned you can cure diseases, replace any body part short of the brain and spinal column (and maybe even some of that), you could reverse ageing easily enough. Then theres the possibility for modifications. Computers with the power they have and a database of alien biology, you could give yourself extra eyes with x-ray vision, more limbs, a tail, wings, tentacles, whatever you like really. All organic, or you go Borg-style, though for some reason they decided two legs and two arms and one head was the most efficient configuration a lifeforms could have. Actually The Borg don't stand up to much logical scrutiny as cool an idea as they are.

The other thing about transporters they don't have in Trek is spiritual or religious objections. If you believe in souls, there is no way you'd get beamed anywhere. Though you'd also likely start to believe that everyone you knew who had beamed anywhere was no longer the person you knew, like some kind of inverse imposter or body snatchers syndrome, then you'd go mad from paranoia.
I'll give them warp as a freebie, and not ding them for the logistical problems with transporters.

Reactionless thrusters
Inertial dampeners
Disintegrators
The Holodeck
2D naval battles in space
Socialist utopia

This is fantasy.
     
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Sep 29, 2017, 07:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'll give them warp as a freebie, and not ding them for the logistical problems with transporters.

Reactionless thrusters
Inertial dampeners
Disintegrators
The Holodeck
2D naval battles in space
Socialist utopia

This is fantasy.
I'm of two minds here: first of all, Star Trek's universe has its own logic with its own technologies. Note that many of seemingly ludicrous technology has actually become reality, e. g. pads (literally), touch screens, interactions with computers by voice and communicators that fit in every pocket. Also politically, the first one foreshadowed a multiracial world where we are at peace with the Russians. Now that seems quaint, but I think we have a hard time imagining how forward thinking that was. Plus, with all the talk about a universal basic income*, we could conceivably move more into what you dubbed a socialist utopia (I think it goes way beyond socialism as we use the term now). Extrapolating from what the way the world is now is one of my favorite aspects about scifi.

Of course, there are other technologies that contradict laws of physics as they are currently known. I don't care much about that because those were the rules of the Star Trek universe from the beginning. So I am only bugged by inconsistencies with the universe as we understand it.

That can be very small things such as using the wrong sound effects for non-American ambulances or police cars (no, French and German police cars do not sound the same at all!). Whereas others most people don't care about (e. g. that the pop for gun or rifle shots is almost always synchronous with the muzzle flash — which is unphysical, the speed of sound is much slower and there should be a delay according to the distance between the vantage point and the firearm). The same goes for sound in space, even series that try extremely hard to get the physics right (again, I appeal to the Expanse) do you have sound effects — a completely silent battle scene would make for boring (albeit more accurate) TV.


* On universal basic income, the Expanse has a wildly different take on it — very thought-provoking to say the least. It's clear that it is not a foregone conclusion that it will or won't work.
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Sep 29, 2017, 08:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
I like the starfleet alien guy. For Trek he seems to have a least a somewhat alien though process and the actor has made efforts to make him move and gesture in a more alien manner. All other Trek aliens move and think just like humans.
My favorite in that category is still Dr Phlox, he was easily my favorite character on Enterprise, along w/ T'pol (everyone's favorite, perpetually horny Vulcan). (Seriously, either that or it was always very cold on set).
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Sep 29, 2017, 06:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'll give them warp as a freebie, and not ding them for the logistical problems with transporters.

Reactionless thrusters
Inertial dampeners
Disintegrators
The Holodeck
2D naval battles in space
Socialist utopia

This is fantasy.
Well inertial dampeners cancel out the reactionless thrusters.
Disintegrators could potentially be done with nannies maybe.
The Holdback is predicted to be achieved within 40 years or so.
2D naval battles were more TOS. Newer seasons move in 3D, though I'll concede they'd be better off letting the AI fly.
Socialist Utopia is only fantasy because some people are too limited by a lifetime of conditioning against its feasibility to give it a proper try. Theres no other reason it couldn't work. Once you have limitless clean energy, replicators, and can colonise other planets if you run out of space, it becomes a lot easier.
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Sep 30, 2017, 01:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Meh, wasn't impressed.
Maybe you would have liked it better if CBS stole your money and didn't produce anything?

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subego
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Sep 30, 2017, 03:01 AM
 
@Oreo and WAS

I'm just pulling your commie pinko hair because I'm sweet on ya.

One reason I like to bang on the socialist utopia with a hammer is we're juuust entering into the really messy part at the beginning. There will be suffering because of it.

Of course, the thing itself could get messy. As a thought experiment, let's say the ideal, raw, organic material for a food replicator is... dead dinosaur pumped from the ground. We can likely do some impressive stuff in terms of turning matter into ridiculous amounts of energy, but it doesn't go the other way around. There are still going to be material needs.

There's also the fundamental question of what will people actually do, other than play video games.
     
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Sep 30, 2017, 03:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by starman View Post
Maybe you would have liked it better if CBS stole your money and didn't produce anything?
Wouldn't have been much different than what STD IS. Anyway, figures you'd like STD, it suits you.
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Sep 30, 2017, 09:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
@Oreo and WAS

I'm just pulling your commie pinko hair because I'm sweet on ya.

One reason I like to bang on the socialist utopia with a hammer is we're juuust entering into the really messy part at the beginning. There will be suffering because of it.

Of course, the thing itself could get messy. As a thought experiment, let's say the ideal, raw, organic material for a food replicator is... dead dinosaur pumped from the ground. We can likely do some impressive stuff in terms of turning matter into ridiculous amounts of energy, but it doesn't go the other way around. There are still going to be material needs.

There's also the fundamental question of what will people actually do, other than play video games.
Yeah, no point in obtaining utopia until we can make intellectual enlightenment universally trendy.
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Sep 30, 2017, 11:34 AM
 
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C. Clarke

Within a science fiction framework, it's important to avoid spending a lot of time and exposition justifying your technology, especially when that technology is there specifically for storytelling purposes, i.e. the ray guns, transporter, inertia hijinks, artificial gravity, etc.

And keep in mind that Roddenberry envisioned Star Trek as "Wagon Train to the Stars," not as grittily hard science fiction. It was a vehicle for stories where the modern day constraints of reality could be avoided or stepped around enough to make stories interesting - and to comment on social issues without being too blatant.

I have not watched my recording of the pilot yet, but I'm reserving judgement until I get a few episodes' worth of performance. TNG was pretty stinky for the first half-season, but those stinky episodes showed the series had promise. We'll see...

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Sep 30, 2017, 12:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
STD
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Doc HM  (op)
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Sep 30, 2017, 04:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
My favorite in that category is still Dr Phlox, he was easily my favorite character on Enterprise, along w/ T'pol (everyone's favorite, perpetually horny Vulcan). (Seriously, either that or it was always very cold on set).
Phlox went the way of all Trek Aliens, becoming more human standard as the writers forgot he was an Alien. Looking at the first time the Ferengi appeared on screen vs Quark
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Sep 30, 2017, 05:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Space herpes.
You caught that. At least it's correctly named.
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Sep 30, 2017, 05:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Phlox went the way of all Trek Aliens, becoming more human standard as the writers forgot he was an Alien. Looking at the first time the Ferengi appeared on screen vs Quark
The way Ferengi were first seen was much more primitive, almost like cavemen (which wouldn't fit, since they're advanced enough to be a spacefaring race). In the series commentary track they talk about how they didn't expect to come back to the Ferengi, at first they were simply going to be a 1 story "throw-away" species, but did due to a need for several more permanent cultures to help flesh out the galaxy. You're right, Quark DID become more hoo-man, but that was understandable since many of his best friends were human and their ideals rubbed off on him, same goes for Phlox (and he had an impact on the Enterprise crew, as well). I'd probably start acting like a Vulcan if I lived on a smallish starship with them for years on end, taking in their culture and language.
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Oct 5, 2017, 01:18 PM
 
episode 3 was a hot sticky mess.

Talk about running off a cliff!!
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Oct 5, 2017, 10:41 PM
 
I like that they introduced a little intrigue and that it didn't follow the 09 movie with the "We've decided instead of being stuffy sticklers for rules and discipline that anyone sufficiently disobedient gets their own ship" but its gone a bit La Femme Nikita hasn't it? Mind you, I suppose Voyager started it when they integrated a bunch of criminals into their crew at the relative drop of a hat.
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Oct 6, 2017, 12:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
episode 3 was a hot sticky mess.

Talk about running off a cliff!!
I thought the episode was quite interesting, because it proposes very interesting topics as central themes and questions the squeaky clean image of Star Fleet:

(1) Scientists who are doing basic research are asked to apply their skills to develop weapons. A technology with which fleets may move instantly from one end of the battle field to the other (even if based rather weirdly on organic matter and “spores”).

(2) Many members of Star Fleet see themselves as explorers and scientists rather than members of a military (e. g. Michael's previous Captain or the helmsman who was sucked out into space).

(3) The new captain is an interesting character, you don't know whether to trust him, like him or despise him. Ditto for the alien first officer (previous third officer), and the terribly insecure crewman.

(4) Even within the hierarchy of prisoners, Michael is on the bottom of the totem pole. People around her immediately dislike her, and I share the sentiment.

Unlike Star Trek: Enterprise, this proposes to take the Star Trek universe in a bold new direction, in a time where, starting from the Sopranos, we have series with much more ambivalent characters and more emphasis on overarching story lines, and at least they seem to set everything up for that. I like that. I don't know if it will work out, but I would at least like to give it a season-and-a-half. TNG and TOS didn't have great first seasons either. (I just started re-watching TOS with my wife, and the especially the first episode with Captain Pike is just painful to watch.)
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Oct 6, 2017, 01:11 AM
 
I thought I'd dislike STD because of social justice-type topics being forced down the audience's throat, but came away disliking it because it's poorly made and horribly written (with an impossible to like lead).

OTOH, the Orville is really good so far and feels much more Trek-like, despite being an obvious parody.
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Oct 7, 2017, 06:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
I thought I'd dislike STD because of social justice-type topics being forced down the audience's throat, but came away disliking it because it's poorly made and horribly written (with an impossible to like lead).

OTOH, the Orville is really good so far and feels much more Trek-like, despite being an obvious parody.
Just watched the first five episodes of the Orville, and have to agree 100%- much more Star Trek like, but I disagree that it's parody. It may be splitting hairs, but I would call it a respectful homage with humour. Kind of like Hot Fuzz (homage with humour) vs. The Naked Gun (parody).

Interesting though that of the first five episodes, we had three social justice-type topics (animal rights, gender-equality [with undertones of religious fundamentalism] and religious fundamentalism [with undertones of climate-change denial]) and it didn't seem to bother you.

In my viewing, the Social Justice agenda was much more 'in your face' in The Orville than in STD.
     
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Oct 7, 2017, 06:33 AM
 
The difference is that The Orville is lampooning social justice issues (like the egg subplot, omg), revealing their idiocy while trying to save what kernels of truth are at their core.
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Paco500
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Oct 7, 2017, 07:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
The difference is that The Orville is lampooning social justice issues (like the egg subplot, omg), revealing their idiocy while trying to save what kernels of truth are at their core.
Again, you see parody and lampoon, I see respect and homage.

EDIT:

To elaborate- egg: obvious attempt at humour. Actual plot? Sexual politics and the inherent conflict between 'sincerely held beliefs' vs. evolved and accepted social norms.
     
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Oct 7, 2017, 08:35 AM
 
Suit yourself. *shrug*
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Oct 7, 2017, 04:20 PM
 
Interestingly, Seth MacFarlane doesn't think it's parody either.
     
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Oct 7, 2017, 05:13 PM
 
"It's comical homage" = a parody with feelings attached
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Paco500
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Oct 7, 2017, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
"It's comical homage" = a parody with feelings attached
There is a huge difference. Above, you said:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
The difference is that The Orville is lampooning social justice issues
It's not. You could take the jokes out of any episode and it would not change the core of the show at all. It's not lampooning anything. Well perhaps the gelatinous Norm MacDonald is over the top, but that's it.

There is no question where the writer (MacFarland) stands on the issues addressed. We get jokes about a burly alien man sitting on an egg, but the message of equality of the sexes is played completely straight. In the zoo episode, there is no joke or no irony when a character comments that humanity has moved beyond 'enslaving' animals for its amusement. In the derelict ship episode, it calls out climate change deniers and organised religion with zero irony or humour.

This is an updated TNG, with all it's progressive and utopian ideals. Plus a few jokes. One gets the feeling that MacFarland really wanted to play it straight but couldn't help himself.
     
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Oct 7, 2017, 05:40 PM
 
Let me be clear, I'm not arguing with you for the hell of it, I find the whole thing fascinating. I'm not a huge fan of Seth MacFarland's shows. I was expecting a load of crap with The Orville. I only found it online and watched it because of this thread, and my expectations were completely destroyed. I'm not saying I love it, (because I don't, I like it just fine and will probably continue to watch it) I'm just amazed at what it actually is. It's basically Star Trek fan fiction. Lose a handful of the jokes (the over the top one's- jelly creature, egg, and blue-head-ejaculator from the opening scene come to mind), and it would be almost indistinguishable from the genuine article. Looking at the directors for the individual episodes, none of them are comedy directors, and most of them have worked on some version of Star Trek. This is a love letter to the franchise, not a parody or a send-up.
     
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Nov 13, 2017, 12:10 AM
 
At least one of the producers of The Orville is from TNG as well.

Meanwhile on this weeks most technically infuriating yet episode of Discovery:
 
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Nov 13, 2017, 04:50 AM
 
 
     
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Nov 13, 2017, 05:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
At least one of the producers of The Orville is from TNG as well.
And the doctor is an alumni from DS9.
 
     
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Nov 14, 2017, 03:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Meanwhile on this weeks most technically infuriating yet episode of Discovery:
 
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
   
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