What, did you think I was kidding about leaping into Picard?
So… this was awfully lumpy.
Things I loved:
I love Raffi. I love that Picard’s arrogance is shown to have terrible consequences for those around him, I love that she is broken and that she is consciously trying to put herself back together again, I love that she has enormous emotional reserves for those around her and that she’s also very angry about everything that’s happened. I love how complex she is. I love that she is so badass.
I love Elnor. An Australian accent in space!?!?!?! I love that he gets to just… say whatever is in his mind, I love his mad skillz, I love the way he makes decisions. He’s just generally awesome.
I love Rios. I love his ridiculous 5-part holograms with their ludicrous accents. I love his skills, his development from wannabe mercenary to something else, I love his general attitude and his relationship with Raffi.
I love Seven. That she is not in a catsuit and that she continues to just generally be awesome. I love that she is shown to be complex, to have had a complex life since getting back to the Alpha Quadrant, and has learned some serious skills in snark.
I love old Riker and Troi. So cute. Less convinced by the kid, but whatever. I guess including them is basically just fanservice, but even I – as a not-massive TNG fan – enjoyed seeing them.
I really liked that it was actually Hugh, as the Director! Definitely fanservice there but it made even me happy. It’s a neat call-back and despite his fate, I’m glad we saw him.
I kinda liked Narek. I know, I KNOW, this shows terrible taste on my part. But… he’s an intriguing character! Mostly! Competing principles are compelling! Not that he deserves to be in the front of the image I’ve chosen, though: that really should be Soji.
I don’t mind Picard as a character. Look, I’ve seen a fair range of TNG; I don’t know all his complexities but I know enough. I think this does a good enough job of capturing the man – although I’m sure there are some people who are pissed that he’s shown to have epic levels of arrogance and selfishness (… I think they were obvious in the original show, personally). I quite liked that they showed him in his less than perfect humanity (ahahaha; little in-joke there). Having to deal with not everyone jumping at your beck and call – well, not immediately – made this just that bit different.
So there were good bits. I liked the idea of a captured Borg cube, I was intrigued by the idea of synthetics being banned, and there were some really great cinematic bits. But goodness the plot was just… lumpy. Also, the sound mixing was dreadful; there were lots of bits where I found the dialogue really hard to hear, and then explosions were LOUD.
Part of the problem is just how much is going on in the plot. Romulans and synthetics and Borg and secret police and people harvesting Borg and Picard having brain problems and… etc. I like a complex story, I really do, but this felt like a bunch of different plot lines that didn’t get properly woven together – like someone had LOTS OF IDEAS and they REALLY WANTED all of them to be in the show JUST IN CASE it didn’t get renewed. And yes it felt like it was happening in all-caps.
I didn’t mention Soji above. I liked her well enough? But she wasn’t my favourite character. And this made me sad. It should have been a show that was overwhelmingly, for the second half anyway, about her developing as a person when she discovers her life is a cover-up. But I don’t think she gets much character development, overall. I don’t know what could have been changed; I do know that I was left feeling like she wasn’t hugely different from when we first meet her, and that doesn’t make much sense.
When I first watched the credits, I thought it looked like Picard was being put together. And then there’s the stuff with Data, and then the vague intimation of a brain abnormality, and I had a wild assumption that Picard was himself going to turn out to be a synthetic – or had been replaced by one at some point. And then I shook my head and told myself not to be daft. And then the last ten minutes happened. Whoa.
Will I watch the next season? Of course; eventually. I don’t think I’ll be keeping Prime in anticipation, or getting it as soon as the first episode airs. But I am cautiously intrigued to see where it goes next, especially if Rios and Raffi stay on board (and what was that cutesy little hand-holding between Seven and Raffi?!).
And then it just… ended.
Don’t get me wrong; I really am glad they got back to the Alpha Quadrant. I’m glad the writers had an opportunity to make that happen when, I assume, the show was cancelled (for all their faults, I think here of Firefly, and to a lesser degree Jericho). But. Wow. What a last episode. What a sudden, screeching halt. I guess if it had to be done that way, it was fine?
Don’t get me wrong #2: two Janeways? Who disagree with one another? I can’t be sad about that.
Janeway: I adore the fact that she’s just so damned complicated. I really, really didn’t like her for the way she went after that rogue Federation ship to the detriment of all. And the time she basically condoned genocide. And several other very dubious choices. But they were never choices she was forced into – that is, she actively chose those things, and believed she was right; it wasn’t a state of helplessness. And it was never being “emotional” in a silly woman stereotype. I am perversely pleased that I got a chance to be legit angry at her. I do not regret to watch all of Voyager mostly so that I had a chance to understand this pivotal character in Star Trek.
Chakotay: nothing will ever remove my pure love for this character. Nothing. He is a marvellous 2IC, he got some great storylines, and there’s basically nothing I would change.
Janeway/Chakotay: never in my life have I shipped a non-canon couple as completely, as wholeheartedly, as I ship these two.
I have taken to reading J/C fanfiction.
Seven of Nine: given my words above, you might think I am angry at Seven by the end of the show. You would be wrong, not least because I am capable of divorcing a character from the narrative choices made by showrunners. I do not like the Seven/Chakotay romance idea, but that’s largely because of the age difference (not necessarily a problem but made more problematic by her relative youth as a human) and the abruptness of it all. I was intrigued by the idea of her “practising” with a hologram of Chakotay (and can’t fault her choice), and choose to believe that she was continuing the experiment. ANYWAY, aside from all that, I do feel resentment that Seven was basically a long-running experiment herself, along the lines of “how long can we keep an actress in a catsuit OH LOOK AS LONG AS WE LIKE.” I liked a lot about Seven’s narrative arcs: her growth, her experiences, her comments on the rest of the crew… usually…
B’Elanna: I continued to enjoy her a lot, too. I like her attitude and her honesty and her competence.
B’Elanna/Tom Paris: dear God I came around to B/T. I can’t believe it.
Naomi Wildemann: I will never understand the seeming necessity for including a child character. That said, if there had to be one, Naomi was usually ok. I didn’t enjoy the one ep where she was hiding on the holodeck with the kids’ characters blah blah, but overall she wasn’t written too saccharine.
Neelix: eventually blended into the background, I guess? I still don’t really care for him but he did have some good moments. And quite a good end to his narrative, I thought.
The Doctor: continues to be a pain in the butt.
Harry: continues to just be a bit bland. Sorry, Harry; you are a henchman, not a leader.
Tuvok: I love that Tim Russ got to show a few moments of not being Vulcan; it made Tuvok all the more remarkable as a character. Like Seven, I like Tuvok for the contrast he provides with the rest of the crew, as well as for his own contributions.
I spent… a lot of the last few months pretty obsessed with Voyager. Clearly; seven seasons is a lot of television. And now it’s done. I feel somewhat bereft! (well, I would be feeling more bereft were it not for the admission made above about J/C…) This is the first Star Trek I’ve watched end to end, aside from Disco, which of course is not yet finished. I crammed seven years into about four months, which I would probably not repeat, but again – I don’t regret it. It was fascinating to see narrative choices, and reflect on late 90s tv choices, and all of those sorts of things.
And now that I’m done with Voyager, I can start of Picard.
I am accustomed to not being completely up to date, but some might say this is ridiculous…
The only Star Trek I have watched in full is Star Trek: Discovery. (I’ve also seen all of the movies, though.) This isn’t for any specific reason; The Next Generation was on tv too late when it was first on, and I don’t even remember DS9 or Enterprise being on tv. The original series was also not accessible on tv, as far as I can recall, when I was a kid. I think Voyager must have been on tv but looking at the dates, I can see it was the end of high school and then uni for me – and most of that time I didn’t have access to a tv that I could watch whenever I liked.
Anyway. Here we are. I now have Netflix, and time when I want to knit and therefore watch something undemanding, so… Voyager it is. I’ve just finished season 2.
Janeway: I mean. Of course. I didn’t know she was a science officer! That’s so cool. I love that she likes going down to Engineering and still getting into the science. I love that she is complicated and sometimes makes decisions I don’t approve of. Her hairstyle is outrageous and must take ages to do every morning. I love that eye-roll every time the Kazon make disparaging remarks about women. And I love that no one on the ship ever questions that a woman can be captain. I remain unconvinced about her choice of sleepwear.
Chakotay: one of the aspects that is sometimes good, and sometimes cringeworthy, is the way Chakotay is treated. I love that he is of Native American heritage, that he embraces that heritage – and that he is shown to have had difficulty with it as a child – and that no one ever has an issue with it. I don’t love that his heritage is exoticised more than anyone else’s background is (no comments about being part human, part Klingon, for Torres); I am uncomfortable about some of the things that seem stereotypical to my eyes (but I’m Australian, so maybe I just don’t know enough?). I did love the moment that Chakotay thinks Tuvok is giving him a bow and arrow and is acerbic about his people never having used them (and then Tuvok shows that he’s Tuvok and says the bow is for himself…). ANYWAY: I love Chakotay. A lot. I love his calm, I love his humanity and generosity, pretty much everything.
Paris: urgh. Just like another Paris I could mention. Has had a few redeeming moments, I guess, but I do not love this character. I’m told this is a common attitude. And apparently he gets better? We’ll see.
Neelix: as for Paris, although possibly more annoying. I’m prepared to put up with him since it means we get Kes.
Tuvok: I really like Tuvok. I assumed I would since I’ve liked basically every Vulcan I’ve come across (yes, even Sarek, in a stay-over-there, I’ll-just-watch kinda way). Tuvok’s complexities are a delight, and I always enjoy the calm manner in which he smacks all the emotionally crazed beings down. When I first saw the episode name ‘Tuvik’ I was dreading it, because I assumed that the combination of Neelix and Tuvok would be played as a farce… instead it turned out to be one of the most complex and thoughtful episodes to date. I choose to think that’s mostly because of Tuvok.
Kes: sometimes a bit too on the sappy end for me, but overall – what a delight. Calm, thoughtful, generous; I like when she gets a real storyline but I’m happy whenever she turns up, even simply as the Doctor’s adjunct.
The Doctor: his attitude still annoys me but as a stereotype of a physician, you have to admit that it’s accurate. I have been fascinated by the way his personality has been allowed to develop as he’s been compelled to interact with people far more than his programming ever intended.
B’Elana Torres: another of my favourites. Not least because her engineering talk with Janeway allows some episodes to pass the Bechdel test, which is always a pleasure. Another complex character who gets to be competent, honest, thoughtful… the episode where the human and Klingon aspects were divided was fascinating.
Harry: not my favourite character, but not for any specific reason. He’s had some great narratives, and I do enjoy his ingenuity. I also appreciate the diversity his presence brings to the bridge, and the humour. Sometimes he even manages to tone down Paris. Not often, though.
In which we launch new projects and Discover a new/old love for Star Trek. Bet you didn’t know how much we love Star Trek. You can find us on iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.
What’s new on the internet?
Nebula Weekend means awards and other announcements!
Tansy announces the impending Kickstarter for Mother of Invention: A speculative fiction anthology of diverse, challenging stories about gender & artificial intelligence.
Alex reveals the cover of Luminescent Threads, the new book about Octavia Butler coming soon from Twelfth Planet Press.
Continuum Preview! Check out the program, because we’re all over it. The whole GalSub team will be at Melbourne for this year’s Continuum — if you’re planning to be there, block off three hours for our Galactic Suburbia-and-Twelfth Planet Press extravaganza including a fundraising bake sale and a pre-launch party for Luminescent Threads. (It’s like a baby shower but for a book, and you don’t have to bring gifts)
Alisa: Santa Clarita Diet S1; Anne with an E; Luminescent Threads edited by Alexandra Pierce and Mimi Mondal, Twin Peaks.
Alex: Moana; Doctor Strange; Arrow; For the Love of Spock; Silent Invasion, James Bradley
Tansy: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief; The Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells; The Sarah Jane Adventures (check out Tansy’s appearance on the Sarah Jane themed Splendid Chaps here)
All of us: Star Trek Discovery Trailer! We have a lot of feels.
Please send feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon – which now includes access to the ever so exclusive GS Slack – and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!
WHAT’S NEW ON THE INTERNET?
WSFA Small Press Award shortlist released.
Aussie SF Snapshot 2016 – 150+ short interviews with active members of our community. What’s everyone up to? Find out in a snap!
Alisa: Star Trek Beyond, Olympics
Tansy: Shadowhunters (Netflix), Masks & Shadows by Stephanie Burgis; Damaged Goods by Russell T Davies adapted by Big Finish Audio
Please send feedback to us at email@example.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!
In which we chew over shortlists, awards winners, book covers and gender issues, all of which pales in comparison to the FIRST QUILT IN SPACE. You can get us from iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.
Hugo Packet! What are YOU going to read? Would password protected freebie novels put you off reading them?
Comments: Tansy on “winning too many awards” & Keith Stevenson on why the awards are just fine and don’t need to be ‘sorted out’. To add some positivity (which more accurately reflects most people’s experience of this awards night!) check out Sean’s Storify of the AA’s night and Tehani’s post on attending at the last minute with lovely frockage pics. For even more gorgeous pictures, Cat Sparks’ Flickr feed is the way to go!
The artist behind the Georgette RR Martin cover discusses her imaginary brief.
Hawkeye Initiative Coda – using humour & art to get the gender point across in the workplace.
THE FIRST QUILT IN SPACE! Frontier craft for the final frontier.
Tansy’s Melbourne public appearances:
Sisters in Crime 14 June http://www.liviaday.com/wordpress/2013/05/20/something-rotten-in-the-apple-isle-sisters-in-crime/
Splendid Chaps 15 June – details tba, keep an eye on the Splendid Chaps website for booking details after the 23rd May.
ALISA: Star Trek Into Darkness
TANSY: Iron Man 3 FINISHED GAME OF THRONES BOOKS; Queers Dig Time Lords, 2 Minute Time Lord discussion with editors/contributors of QDTL
Please send feedback to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!
In which we talk Smurfette, gender bias on Wikipedia, Redshirts, Regency magic and Captain Marvel. Also, Tansy turns the microphone off a lot so you can’t hear her sneezing. You have much to thank her for.
Shirley Jacksons! Winners announced.
A new Sleeps With Monsters column by Liz Burke: The Smurfette Principle – We Can Do Better
How Kate Middleton’s wedding gown reveals the gender bias in the Wikipedia system.
Journey Planet Issue 13 – specifically special section on gender parity for con panels including our own Alisa
The ComicCon Batgirl returned to SDCC this year, asking DC Comics about why Stephanie Brown has been removed from the Smallville comics.
What Culture Have we Consumed?
Alisa: Redshirts by John Scalzi (read by Wil Wheaton)
Tansy: The Truth by Terry Pratchett, Sherlock Holmes The Final Problem/The Empty House (Big Finish Productions), Captain Marvel & The Avenging Spider-Man #9 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Alex: The Secret History of Moscow, Ekaterina Sedia; Salvage, Jason Nahrung; Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal
Kristine Kathryn Rusch discusses the business of being an author
Woman wins award, man gets attention
Ian Sales’ SF Mistressworks & starts the SF Mistressworks meme
Hugo reminder: get your nominations in!
Competition open for another fortnight – keep sending in entries! Email us with fave GS moment and what cake you ate.
What Culture Have we Consumed?
Tansy: Burn Bright, by Marianne de Pierres; Laid (ABC TV)
Alisa: Star Trek Enterprise Season 4, Fringe eps 11 -13,
Alex: Genesis, by Bernard Beckett; Redemption Ark, Alastair Reynolds; Version 43, Philip Palmer (abandoned)… Battlestar Galactica
I think Picard is my favourite. He’s just more… refined. Kirk makes Jon Mclean look like a choir boy. The thing that’s particularly funny about those lists (and there were quite a few that I didn’t get) is that a number of them are the same, word for word – yet on one list it’s bad and on the other, good.
So I’ve watched Star Trek Generations tonight. I don’t think I’d seen it before – although it’s possible that I saw it at my first O’Week party, back in the day (the cinema at uni was showing movies all night; I know I saw a Star Trek at maybe 1am – with the kir part of kirmish, as I recall – but don’t remember it at all; and no I wasn’t drunk, because the Melbourne Uni security team, in their wisdom, wouldn’t accept NT proof of age – only Victorian). What can I say? The effects are definitely better. I don’t like Riker much, Troi is a pain, and while Crusher is good she ain’t no Bones. Geordie (oooh, it jut occurred to me that that’s another UK slang reference, like Scotty… yes, I’m a bit slow) is ok, but no Scotty, and Data is a lesser version of Spock without the interesting reason for being all logical and cold. I think what I’m saying is that I want Picard with the original crew; that would be my ideal Star Trek!
Soren was a worthy adversary, with a very interesting reason for being a prat. It was fun seeing Kirk and Picard together (they’re in one other together, I believe?). Overall, quite a satisfying plot, I thought.
My final question, though: why is such a nice-looking planet as Viridian 3 uninhabited??
So all that stuff about odds and evens of Star Trek movies is, I have decided, crap. I just watched VI (man I love BigPond Movies!), and it was great. Right from the start it was obvious that it was made much more recently than V, because the effects were infinitely better. And the plot – there was one! And it was a good one! No faffing around at the start; an unexpected double-cross (for me to be surprised by a double-cross is quite unusual); and the acting was probably a bit better than it had been previously.
Kirk got emotion and a turn-around, Spock got devious, Bones got insulted… and Sulu got his own ship.
This one I am happy to recommend to most scifi buffs.
Oh – and Klingons quoting Shakespeare – brilliant! An interesting touch to make them more civilised, which throws the whole Klingons-as-brutes questions into the air and pushes Kirk, and the audience, into questioning the relationship between ‘civilised’ and not, and indeed what ‘civilised’ means.
I liked it.
And there’s a new Star Trek coming out next year, with Karl Urban as Bones! It’s set in the space academy, as a prequel – the original gang learning how to be the insubordinate types we know and love. I’m not entirely convinced, but I’ll probably go and see it.