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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Ep8-6-11-3-17After taking a week off for some wacky time-travel fun, Star Trek: Discovery gets back to the business of the war with “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum.”

CBS Digital originally intended for this episode to serve as the mid-season finale.  And while it does end of a cliffhanger, I’m glad they’ve decided not to just leave us hanging on these developments for the next couple of months.  Don’t get me wrong — it’s strong, solid episode but I think I would have been annoyed if this was where we left things until January.  Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

dsc-107-rev-3-640x318Strange that an episode featuring a never-ending time loop where a lot of the crew dies in the course of defending the ship would be one of the most entertaining, fun and light episodes Star Trek: Discovery has given us.

And yet, “Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad,” achieves just that.

A lot of that can be chalked up to the presence of one Harcourt Fenton Mudd, who wants to sell Discovery’s secret weapon to the Klingon in exchange for a lot of money. (I’d argue that Mudd may be lying a bit there since it’s fairly obvious that he has an iffy relationship with the truth.  It doesn’t seem too huge a stretch to think that Mudd has bartered with the Klingons to set him free in exchange for handing over Discovery to them.  That would go a long way toward giving Mudd more motive to reset the timeline when he finds out who Burnham is and she kills herself.  Mudd may need that extra money to pay off whatever debts he’s accrued and would rather spend his life running from, rather than marrying Stella).  Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery: Lethe

dsc-106-rev-05-640x318Years ago, Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens classic Trek novel “Prime Directive” opened with a paragraph talking about how badly Starfleet misjudged the men it put into the center chair of the constellation class ships during TOS era.  It pointed out that a large majority of these captains came to a less than ignominious end, citing examples from TOS episodes as the basis for this.

Watching “Lethe,” I felt like this opening paragraph not only applied to the constellation class ships in Starfleet but also to other commanders from the TOS era.  Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: The Orville: About A Girl

the-orville-season-1-episode-3-about-a-girl-foxDear producers of The Orville:  More episodes like this one, please.

Not sure yet if this episode will be the exception or the rule, but I’m hoping it becomes the rule.  While not perfect, “About a Girl” feels like it’s a step in the right direction.

Which, knowing Seth MacFarlane can only mean next week will the series take on “The Naked Now” only instead of acting drunk, everyone will act like they’ve had one too many of the special brownies the replicators can whip at the drop of a hat. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: Star Trek: Discovery — Battle at the Binary Star

what-time-does-star-trek-discovery-start-1022837-320x180With “Battle at the Binary Star,” Star Trek: Discovery takes some of the pieces introduced in “The Vulcan Hello” and begins to move them into place for the next thirteen episodes.

It doesn’t hurt that “Binary Star” includes one of the best space battles that Trek has ever committed to celluloid in either a series or a movie.

It’s interesting to see Discovery has taken a different tactic to most of the other modern Trek shows with its two-hour pilot.  Each modern Trek had everything in place by the end of the first two hours.  At this point in Discovery, the only regular cast member we’ve spent significant time with is Michael Burnham.  And we haven’t even seen her assume her new role on board her new ship.  We haven’t even seen the ship that gives the series its namesake. Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: The Orville: Command Performance

While “Old Wounds” introduced us to the universe of The Orville and its characters, the episode really didn’t tell us much about the characters beyond a basic character tic or bio line.

And while “Command Performance” still suffers from many of the issues that played the pilot episode in terms of establishing a tone for the series, it at least tried to give us a bit more insight into a few of the characters.  Continue reading

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TV Round-Up: The Orville, “Old Wounds”

xzsw7urvcxqpskxv40ggBased on the promotional material and my expectations of what constitutes a Seth MacFarlane show, I expected The Orville to be a bit more Galaxy Quest than Star Trek.

Turns out FOX took all the “funny” and “zingy” one-liner parts of the premiere and edited those into a (much repeated) commercial for the show.

It’s almost as if Fox doesn’t quite know what kind of show Seth MacFarlane is giving them.

Which could be because The Orville doesn’t seem to know what kind of show it wants to be either. That’s my big takeaway from the first episode, “Old Wounds.” Continue reading

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