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Everything posted by Llywela

  1. Agreed. It's a shame that all the still-living actors couldn't have lent their voices for the occasion, but the Big Finish voice actors for most of them were so good you'd barely know it wasn't the real thing. Debra Stephenson's Thirteen was the only sour note, for me - the writing for her was weak and she didn't quite nail the voice. But the rest were great. Wonderful to have a story with all the Doctors (except Ruth) together like that!
  2. This. It is a concept that sci fi has explored again and again, one of those deep philosophical conundrums about the nature and meaning of life and sentience. If man creates a machine that has the capacity to learn, and that machine eventually learns so much and grows so far beyond its original programming that it becomes self-aware...then what does that mean? Should it be recognised as a new life form? Star Trek has explored the concept repeatedly, with androids and with holograms - although it has also ducked out of committing to the deeper meaning of the Doctor's story in Voyager. I mean, if all holograms have the capacity to achieve sentience purely as a result of being switched on continuously (or as a result of being slightly misprogrammed, as happened with Moriarty on TNG), then surely that raises ethical questions over the use of holograms in general? Picard sidestepped the question by ignoring it completely, utilising holograms as intelligent AIs and nothing more, yet we know from past experience that they are capable of becoming more than that, in the right circumstances. So, is it right to treat them as mere tools if they are self-aware and capable of full sentience? Is it right to hold them back from developing sentience just because it would be inconvenient? There are lots of potentially interesting questions there, but Picard hasn't addressed them (yet).
  3. Quite! It is very far-fetched - therefore perfectly fitting for a thread devoted to 'faux things that happen on TV but not in reality' - but the story around it is pretty good.
  4. I saw another twist on the theme, in another show I won't name because spoilers, but the grieving relative who hired the PI to investigate a supposed suicide turned out to actually be the killer, thinking he was being clever, throwing people off the scent and checking how well he'd covered his tracks at the same time.
  5. I remember that was exactly what I expected when I sat down to watch the first season of Lost when it aired in the UK. I hadn't seen much buzz about it, so all I knew was that it was a show about a group of people who survived a plane crash on a remote island. And I was sold on that concept. A group of strangers trapped in an isolated location, forced to work together in order to survive? It sounded like fantastic character drama. But it became clear quite early on that it wasn't really the show I expected, so I stopped watching after season one and never regretted that decision.
  6. Unhappy marriage in which both parties had grown apart (if they were ever that close to begin with) and were on the verge of separation, which shouldn't have been a big deal but was because royal separations get a lot of attention and cause bad press even now, never mind a century ago. So the turnaround was Mary deciding, after talking to Tom, to make some effort to build bridges and repair the relationship instead of giving up on it without a fight.
  7. You mean the moments of 'soft reboot', which are a good jumping on point for new viewers? Spearhead from Space, yes, definitely - not just a new Doctor but a new Earthbound setting, plus the switch from black-and-white to colour (although we'd met the Brigadier, Sergeant Benton and UNIT before). The Classic series didn't have showrunners in the modern style, the show back then was 'run' by a head producer and script editor as a team, and the changing of that production team could at times be classed as a soft reboot for the show. Which gives you Robot/Ark in Space as another soft reboot moment - and I list both because although Robot introduces a new Doctor and a new companion and is the first serial under a new production team, it is also a holdover from the old UNIT era, whereas Ark in Space sees the new Doctor leaving UNIT behind and striking out into the wider universe once more, and with it being Harry's first trip in the TARDIS it can work as a soft reboot story to introduce the show to new viewers, despite also having Sarah Jane, who had been around for a couple of seasons already. Actually, the Fourth Doctor's era has a few good soft reboot moments for new viewers to jump aboard - such as The Face of Evil, which sees the Doctor travelling solo and meeting a new companion in Leela, who has a bit of an Eliza Doolittle-type character arc over the next few adventures. He is travelling solo again at the start of the Key to Time series (season 16), which gives us a new companion in Romana and has an ongoing storyline that follows through the entire season. I would count both of those as soft reboot moments under your definition above. You're counting An Unearthly Child? That isn't a soft reboot, it's the origin story of the entire show! After that, the First Doctor's companions always overlap. The Second Doctor's first adventure is not a good soft reboot point, as there are companions already with the Doctor and the story itself I think would be confusing for new viewers (plus it exists only as audio and animation). The Fifth Doctor's first adventure is Castrovalva, but again he already has a team of companions with him - although two out of three are brand new, and although the story its a bit abstract, I think I would count it as a decent soft reboot point for new viewers to jump on board. It feels very much like the start of a new era and has a very different tone to what came before. The Sixth Doctor...well, he has an existing companion with him when he regenerates, and The Twin Dilemma is awful, so not a good soft reboot point. And then Time and the Rani introduces the Seventh Doctor, but again he has an existing companion with him - and spends much of the adventure with the Rani who has disguised herself as Mel, so...probably not a great one to watch as a soft reboot! Dragonfire would probably make a better soft reboot point for the Seventh Doctor's era, as it introduces Ace to take over from Mel and feels very much like a fresh new start. Does that help?
  8. Pelham correct - Bertie became the Marquess of Hexham, not Hexum. 😉
  9. I think the biggest problem 22-episode seasons have isn't 'filler' (a term I've always disliked, it always comes across so derogatory), the problem is pacing. And pacing is a really difficult thing to get right when you have one ongoing story arc which has to be stretched out over an entire 22-episode season. There's nothing wrong with MOTW episodes or character developing episodes, I often enjoy them more than arc-heavy episodes, but the placement of them is critical if there is also a major ongoing story arc. Drop a lightweight, comedic MOTW episode immediately after a big, emotional arc-based twist, and not only will your viewers get whiplash from the abrupt tonal shift, but you run the risk of killing all the momentum you were building in the ongoing arc. Yet a lot of shows do that because the arc just doesn't have enough story to stretch over the remaining episodes in the season so they need something to fill the gap. I've always liked the way Agents of SHIELD handles season arcs. There is never one single storyline being stretched thin across 22 episodes, instead there are multiple smaller story arcs within each season, overlapping and interwoven, so that as the first a-plot comes to a head mid-season, the groundwork has already been laid for the story to switch tracks into a new a-plot to carry forward. The plotting and storytelling feels much tighter and more cohesive as a result, and you get multiple dramatic climaxes within a season instead of just the one Big Battle at the end.
  10. He told us they had at least one meal together - similar to the captain's dinners Picard used to throw for guests aboard the Enterprise. It was during dinner that Beautiful Flower made the sketch of Rios and Jana sitting together at the table opposite. So if the captain asked his guests what they wanted to eat, I guess Jana in her naivety simply asked for what she liked best rather than sticking to any formal menu! And that tiny detail helps flesh out our understanding of what happened on the ibn Majid and why it affected Rios so deeply. That Jana at a formal captain's dinner asked for ice cream and French fries speaks volumes for her childlike innocence - which is why her murder hit Rios so hard. She was no threat to anyone. She and her companion represented first contact with a whole new species, exploring the wider universe for the first time, full of childlike wonder - and they were murdered in cold blood by the man he respected most in the world, for no good reason, on the apparent orders of Starfleet command, with the lives of the entire ship's complement held to ransom if the order wasn't obeyed. No wonder it broke him - and no wonder he harbours such bitterness toward Starfleet.
  11. Rios wasn't in a relationship with Jana, he only met her briefly. He was upset because his captain, who he idolised as a father figure, committed an apparently senseless act of cold-blooded murder of two visitors aboard his ship, who had been welcomed as guests and who Rios had got to know just well enough to know that they were complete innocents - and because when he confronted the man about it, Vandermeer (who, again, he idolised as a father-figure) committed suicide in an apparently rather gruesome fashion right in front of him. So you've got a heady mix of anger, betrayal, disbelief, incomprehension, grief, horror and guilt all wrapped up in the one traumatic incident. The male synth (Beautiful Flower) wasn't Jana's twin - which tells us something about where they come from (i.e. that there are quite a number of synths in the mix, since if they come in pairs we now know of at least six). That Soji looks like Jana also tells us something - that she and Dahj weren't unique, that the design used to create them had been used before. We were told in earlier episodes that it was theoretically possible to use a single neuron from Data to create more synthetic lifeforms using a process called neural fractal cloning - we were not told that there was any limit on the number of synths that could be created from that single neuron. It certainly wasn't suggested that the process could only be used once per neuron. As for Raffi (short for Raffaella, we learned back at Freecloud) not realising at first that Enoch wasn't Rios, she was behind him, so didn't get a good look, and was quite preoccupied with chewing over the mystery. It isn't usual for Rios to disappear off and leave the holos running the ship, so when she saw the back of his head she just took for granted that it was Rios without bothering to look properly.
  12. But the Big Night In was not fundraising for the NHS. It was a special combination of two regular annual telethons, Comic Relief and Children in Need, both of which provide essential funding to a multitude of small community-based charitable organisations across the UK, all of which offer vital support to the vulnerable - who have been hard hit by the pandemic. That does include an NHS mental health support organisation but that is just one of many beneficiaries. None of the monies raised go to the NHS itself, which is funded by taxpayers - so objecting to fundraising on behalf of the NHS can't be the reason for Eccleston's non-involvement, because that wasn't what the event was for. It was raising money to support vulnerable people who are even more vulnerable than ever right now. It was also aimed at bringing the nation together for an evening of entertainment, and all the celebrities involved went above and beyond to make it special. I watched the whole thing live, it was lovely. I cried more than once, seeing the updates on some of the community projects they support and how hard they've been hit by the crisis. Plus, all monies raised on the night were matched by the government, so...they are paying up. It's a shame Eccleston didn't take part. As the only living Doctor not to be involved, his absence was glaring. I know he's had issues with his time as the Doctor, but I thought he was past all that.
  13. I don't see it, no. There isn't much 'roguish' about Rios at all, really - they are very different personalities. Paris was sociable and outgoing, something of a womaniser before settling down, enjoyed role playing holonovels with friends and hanging out in bars. Rios is quiet and introverted, prefers his own company and spends his downtime reading philosophical works (and when Agnes makes her pass at him, he stumbles, barely knows how to even attempt to flirt back). There really is very little of the 'roguish pilot' trope about Rios at all, beyond the fact of his owning a small freighter. He falls more into the mold of the Starfleet XO - which figures, because that's what he was, before his career crashed and burned. Heck, in this episode, his idea of acting flamboyantly is to ask for a second umbrella in his drink and then bop awkwardly along to the music! Which is the kind of thing that happens when you ask an introvert to behave like an extrovert. (Paris would have had a much easier time of pulling off that cover, because his personality is more flamboyant to begin with).
  14. I think this is one of those situations where common children are actually better off - they at least can come out on the doorstep and see other people doing the same thing, all along their street, so they understand they are part of something much bigger than themselves, which gives a sense of excitement and community. The Cambridge children don't have close neighbours, so when they are taken outside to clap, all they see is the camera. 🙂 To be nitpicky, though, William's Blackadder skit wasn't the opening skit of the night - it came almost a full hour into the show, timed as the intro for the clap for carers. 😉
  15. Because they have chosen to be styled Duke and Duchess. They do also hold the titles Prince and Princess.
  16. I watched it live on TV as part of the three-hour Big Night In - the Duke's participation had been kept a very closely guarded secret, even the presenters weren't told about it until just before they went on air and they didn't announce who was going to be in the skit, so it aired as a total surprise. And no, nothing self-serving about it at all, any front liners watching would have had the context built in. Front liners themselves were filmed taking part in the clap. The whole show was so much fun, a lot of the sketches were as poignant as they were hilarious. And I confess I really do enjoy it when the royals get involved with things like that, so was delighted to see the Duke taking part in a comedy sketch with a much beloved TV legend, being willing to poke fun at himself. The royals don't often get to show their lighter side in public.
  17. You don't need to watch Discovery to understand Picard. You don't need to have seen the Abrams films, either. The show itself tells you what you need to know about the backstory, destruction of Romulus, etc. It does expect viewers to pay pretty close attention, though - the showrunner is primarily a novelist rather than a screenwriter so a lot of the detailing is quite intricate and it is easy to miss stuff. Since the episodes originally aired weekly, rather than dropping all at once, the episode threads are pretty self-contained - discussion of later episodes couldn't creep in because those episodes hadn't aired yet. So there shouldn't be any spoilers in the episode threads.
  18. I think you have misunderstood a few things, most of which would probably have been cleared up if you had read through the discussion above. 🙂 1. Previous iterations of Star Trek have established very different appearances for Romulans - some smooth-headed and some with forehead ridges. The Vulcan-like pointed ears are what they all have in common. Star Trek: Picard has taken those two established 'types' and used them to create racial diversity among its Romulan characters, so that both smooth-headed and ridged-forehead Romulans appear in the show. They can all be recognised as Romulan by their pointed ears and slanted eyebrows. 2. There is more than one faction of Romulans. They are a vast civilisation, with many divisions - especially now that they have been scattered by the destruction of their homeworld and many established colonies. Those factions don't all agree with one another, don't all operate to the same agenda, and sometimes don't even know the others exist. The show has taken an alien race that was fairly one-dimensional in previous branches of the franchise and has added great depth and diversity to them, exploring aspects of their culture never seen before - just as TNG did for the Klingons. 3. The Romulans do not have acid blood. If you look closely, you will see that the Tal Shiar guy bites down on something in his mouth, a bit like enemy agents in James Bond who conceal cyanide capsules in their teeth in case of capture - in this case, the capsule contained acid, which burns the man's own mouth as well as killing Dahj when he spits it at her (it also dissolves the gun, which is what causes the explosion). 4. Data was created as an individual by Noonian Soong, yes, that is established. However, what it also well established by TNG is that no one has ever been able to duplicate Soong's work. This episode tells us that Maddox and Jurati and their team were working on an entirely different process for achieving the same result, and their alternate process uses fractal cloning, which results in two identical specimens. 5. Many creative works draw on similar sources of inspiration and explore similar ideas - there are very few truly original ideas (if you think Work A is copying Work B, chances are, Work B wasn't original to begin with and there is someone else out there complaining about Work B ripping off Work C, and so on). What matters is the individual twist each one brings to the concept. Star Trek: Picard is 100% Star Trek. It is a different Star Trek than TNG was, just as TNG was a different Star Trek than TOS was, and just as DS9 was different again, and so on, and that is okay. It is okay for each new iteration to be different. They all represent different aspects of the Star Trek universe. They are all Star Trek.
  19. Not gonna lie. I cried. Many thanks, RTD. How lovely of so many actors to take part - and their willing partners to help with the camera work (the reason Sacha Dhawan gets an acknowledgement in the credits, incidentally: he is Anjli Mohindra's partner).
  20. Llywela


    Hmm. Intrigued! Since John Rogers is still in charge, I'm optimistic that the changes will be well thought through and organic as a continuation of the story. Since we left the characters at a time of transition, and time has passed since then, reverting to the former status quo would feel unnatural. Time has passed and so the characters and their situations would also have changed. I'm really interested to see what they come up with!
  21. Seems a minor detail to fix on. 30 years, Shelby probably has other priorities by now - her whole career would have moved forward. She wasn't part of this story because she didn't need to be.
  22. 1. The Artifact was a Romulan-owned project with no Starfleet presence. 2. We don't know what will happen on Coppelius now that the Federation knows it exists, because that's where the season ended. 3. 30 years is a long time, Shelby might have retired - she might even be dead.
  23. It is unfortunate for Beatrice but can't be helped and at least her wedding can be easily rescheduled - unlike my terminally ill cousin who was supposed to be getting married last week, but now won't get the chance. (That wedding was arranged in haste at less than 6 weeks notice when the very short prognosis was given - but within those six weeks, the whole world turned upside down). Beatrice will get another chance.
  24. I assume it had something to do with wanting to protect the location of the synth colony - he needed to base himself elsewhere while investigating the true cause of the synth ban because he couldn't risk leading danger to his 'children'. They knew about the second season by last summer, I believe, so before the finale was filmed. And to be fair to Agnes, there was clearly a bit of time between Picard's death and resurrection - we don't know at what point the plan was conceived or who was brought in on it. She wouldn't have known for sure, at first, that it would even work - and she'd need Soong's agreement to use his golem, which wasn't a given. So there was time while she was trying to figure the details out for the others to be grieving. She may well have told them as soon as she thought it might work - or she might have waited until she knew it had worked. Either way, I can't really fault her for not wanting to get anyone's hopes up until she was more sure it could be done.
  25. The Avengers and James Bond star Honor Blackman dies aged 94 Also known to me from a whole host of other TV roles, she had a long and active career. I didn't realise how old she was!
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