[Discovery review starts at 20:59]
Tony and Laurie discuss an interview with Alex Kurtzman that leads them to speculate on possible Star Trek Universe crossovers, plus the news that the Section 31 show is still likely to happen, which leads to an update on of ViacomCBS’ plans for ownership and distribution of the TV franchise. They talk about William Shatner’s upcoming documentary on his trip to space, Nichelle Nichols’ farewell party and NASA award, and when we can expect to see Tig Notaro’s Jet Reno back on Discovery.
After that, they review Star Trek: Discovery‘s “All Is Possible,” which Tony liked more than Laurie did. They wrap up the podcast with two YouTube videos, one about pronouncing “Omicron” the Star Trek way and the other putting a Christmas twist on Star Trek: Voyager.
Alex Kurtzman Talks “Inevitable” Star Trek Universe Crossover; Says Section 31 Show Is Still “Alive”
ViacomCBS CEO Explains Netflix ‘Discovery’ Buyback, Calling Star Trek “Core” Global Franchise
‘Shatner In Space’ Documentary Coming To Amazon Prime Video
Nichelle Nichols Receives NASA Award At Farewell Event
Nichelle Nichols dancing at the party honoring her
Showrunner Promises Tig Notaro’s Jett Reno Will Show Up “Very Soon” In ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Season 4
Rickie (Wilson Cruz) on My So-Called Life
TNG’s “Coming of Age” (where Wesley takes the Starfleet Academy psych test)
John Houseman on The Paper Chase
Tilly highlights package on The Ready Room
Mary Wiseman Talks Tilly’s Future On ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ (including Ready Room interview with Wil Wheaton)
Bunny Ears podcast with Wil Wheaton and Macauley Culkin
Tony: How to Pronounce “Omicron” the Star Trek way
Laurie: Tuvok, the Vessel’s Vulcan
Let us know what you think of the episode in the comments, and please post your suggestions for topics we should cover in the future as well as guests you’d like us to have on.
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I can´t imagine Discovery without Tilly. I´m gonna miss her so much.
I am completely sold on a Starfleet academy series with her. On Star Trek Day there was an interview with Alex Kurtzman where he talked a bit about that series. How there´s a new generation inheriting the problems of the old and what are they going to do? I think that could be really interesting in a 32nd century setting not only because of the bur but with the misstrust of the Federation and dependence on dilithium for example.
I really liked a small moment in this episode with Burnham in the beginning. She´s walking through the corridor looking all captainy but as soon as the doors of the lift close you see her sort of slump and the facade breaks down alittle.
The cadets on the mission *may* be the best their worlds had to offer but I had a thought that the standards are very different in a post burn world. They probably can´t be held to the high standards we´re used to from the other shows because they haven´t been able to get the same training. In the same way a 24th century officer wouldn´t behave like Commander Nalas did we have cadets who don´t behave like, say Nog or any of the other cadets we saw. That being said they were not compelling characters regardless of skill set.
I found the Tellarite character interesting. His contrariness was grounded and not just cultural reflex. The actor has had some challenging roles in Canadian productions, and to me he was successful in projecting through the heavy prosthetics.
It’s hard to know what more these characters could in a fairly classic scenario.
I find it interesting that although two of the young actors were local ones from Toronto (human from Titan and Tellarite), an American who has been in several Netflix series was cast as the Orion.
So, there may have been an element of trying these actors out for some level of role in the Academy series in development, or there may just cast completely afresh as they did for SNW
I had a thought seeing that this was another A-B-C plot episode, that this format was likely chosen as a way to manage COVID-19 protocols.
Whatever the impetus, I am finding it successful in giving the cast beyond Sonequa the opportunity to develop their characters and storylines.
I hope that as the season progresses we’ll get to see the main cast interact with some of the others from the bridge or with Dr Pollard. This might to be a way to bring some three dimensionality to the larger crew.
Interesting observation. The Walking Dead had a bunch of very small episodes in season 10 that were obviously due to the pandemic. They were regular length but minimum crew, very little action and often featured only one or two characters for most of the episode.
Discovery doesn’t necessarily seem smaller. The episodes still feature a lot of characters even though Trekmovie remarked in their review of the season premiere that there were very few cadets for the grand reopening of Starfleet Academy. But it is noticeable that these last episodes seem to pair off one or two series regulars with a bunch of guest stars of the week, and there seem to be fewer scenes where all the regulars are together. Maybe it was indeed a precautionary measure.
I have mostly enjoyed the episodes so no complaint from me.
Grey, Adira(?), and Janet Reno just aren’t very interesting, and the actors aren’t too good either.
More is known about about Grey and Adira than the bridge crew combined.
Odd how the bridge crew continues to be ignored, they at least have potential because next to nothing has been said about any of them.
I didn’t realize Janet Reno took up acting, but I’d recommend that she not get close to any open flames.
However, I do agree that more character development is needed for Lt. Cardboard, Ensign Stand-in and Comm officer Whip-Pan-and-You’ll-Miss-Him.
Well, I’m going to say it, but I feel the showrunners are just trying too hard to play the diversity card… I salute the effort, but when it’s overdone it just makes it fake. Like these characters are not there because this is simply the way society is, but rather these characters are there because the showrunners just want to show everyone how much they’re woke (can’t believe I just used that word).
Maybe you’d believe it better if you just restricted yourself to evaluating the creative choices of the producers, rather than try to mind-read their reasons for making them.
No need to mind-read. It’s blatant.
Next time you feel the urge to say something problematic, decide not to.
Wow. That tactic would sure improve public debate.
It’s true, it would help public debate, but wouldn’t solve the problem. The problem is that people with that kind of exclusionary, bigoted attitude continue to exist.
If you followed your own advice, you would never post anything. Why don’t you keep your self-righteous opinions to yourself and let people think what they think. I don’t need you to agree.
I’ve never said anything problematic, so your point is moot. You might want to look up the term’s meaning.
Your entire post is problematic. If you can’t see that then maybe you should spend more of your time reading up on emotional intelligence instead of gracing us with your opinions on what people should post.
It’s not their problem if you live in an insular community that excludes, shames, and bullies LGBTQ people out of it, or into suic**e.
Personally, the show still isn’t nearly as diverse as my own friend group.
It’s diverse for the sake of being diverse and it does no service to the LGBTQ community by box ticking 4/5 characters who have next to nothing to do except “be there”
I could see an argument being made that Gray exists to “just be there,” but Adira, Stamets, and Culber are all major characters who do a lot besides existing.
I don’t get why Gray is there. So if anyone dies, and we encounter their ghost or katra, then in a post-burn/federation torn apart, they have the technology to create a Soong body and do a Fal-tor-pan to rejoin the consciosness back into the body with no concern they might create a disturbed person/droid? Plus, what is Gray’s utility or position? Isn’t Adira supposed to, as a person, deal with loss of partner, or we just bring anyone back we can?
That said – whatever, Gray doesn’t bother me that much, and I like Adira.
And sure, they are checking boxes, I think they have said as much – so what?
Data was a box check to get a new Spock. Riker was a box check for a Kirk. Sisko was a box check to get a black captain. If they are bad characters, one thing, but they are not – Stamets has been a favorite from the start – and I never thought they did enough with Culber, and loving where he is now.
And Jett Reno (Janet Reno? lol) – is great- but I love Tig. And she’s not acting – she has said as much, it’s just Tig in space, saying a bunch of words she doesn’t understand (just like everyone else) – but she is great in everything she does- just being herself.
I do get where some people might be thinking they are gaying it up a bit – after so much Trek and never having that – now you have 7 & Raffi, Stamets/Culber, Adira/Gray, and Mariner in a very short timeframe. So homophobes may be threatened a bit. But Burnham has had a hetero love interest for two seasons, and Boimler, Tendi, Rutherford, and Ransom all have the hetero thing going on.
Burnham has had a hetero love interest for 4 seasons. No mention of Reno?
Someone PLEASE tell Sonequa Martin-Green that there are other approaches to acting that don’t involve whispering every line and alternately crying in anguish or crying in joy. I love Discovery, but her melodramatic brand of over-acting is so off-putting sometimes.
I concur. She can be a little hard to take sometimes.
I honestly do not get the “whispering” thing people are talking about. I can hear every word she says, and it never sounds like whispering. I’m baffled by this whenever I see it. I also think she’s a terrific actress and conveys a lot of complex emotions beautifully. (But I get it, some people think Tom Cruise is great and I can’t stand him.) But the whispering? I don’t hear it.
Laurie, I’m wondering if this has something to do with the sound mixing and whatever televisions people are using.
The music and background soundscapes are very loud as compared to the dialogue, but that’s typical now. I find myself occasionally stopping and flipping to show subtitles on Netflix for this reason.
Newer model televisions, including the one we just bought, have a feature to bring up the dialogue relative to other sounds.
Sonequa’s soft spoken and unlike some of the others who have more theatre stage projection of their voices ( which has been common in Trek due to the tendency to cast actors with stage backgrounds).
The other thing is that many of us are ageing, and while there are exceptions, age related hearing loss hits the upper frequencies (that is female voices) more than lower ones.
So, if folks aren’t watching a lot of other streaming shows, they may feel that straining to hear Sonequa is an unusual situation.
Since it’s just one actor, and since a TON of people are saying it, not just geriatrics… no, it’s obviously not the TV technology. It’s the actor.
I have a pretty good 5.1 surround system and Burnham is still hard for me to hear sometimes. Then I crank up the volume and the next minute there is some explosion which makes the windows in my apartment rattle. :-)
I didn’t say I can’t hear her. But it’s undeniable that she whispers all her lines. She did it on The Walking Dead, too. It’s such an odd acting choice.
Every time she speaks.
I’ve never gotten the “whispering” complaint. Sorry, don’t see it(hear it)
Same. I have never had any trouble hearing what she says, and I have yet to notice any whispering.
And again, no one is saying they can’t hear her. But she whispers every line. If one or two of you don’t hear it, but tons of others do, well….
And honestly, I find it kind of disingenuous that anyone would say they can’t understand the claims that she whispers. It’s like people saying “I don’t see color.” There would have to be something wrong with someone’s eyes for them not to see color. Color exists. Likewise, Martin-Green has been receiving widespread comments about her excessive whispering since she was on The Walking Dead. I find it very difficult to believe someone could watch her perform and not notice it, with all due respect.
Sincerely, she may drop her voice to lower volume or deepen her voice for emphasis but that’s not whispering.
Whispering has a very different sound quality and different challenges for reproduction and amplification.
I find for example that Henry Cavill who is an excellent actor in many ways drops his voice at times in a way that I find difficult to hear against background sounds, but I would never claim he whispers.
I have normal hearing myself but have several family members who do not as I’ve mentioned previously here. I would note that none of our family members who use amplification to hear find Sonequa particularly challenging as compared to others.
One doesn’t have to be geriatric to have hearing loss although it’s true that many of Sonequa’s critics skew older. This is why I am wondering if this narrative about her performance took off.
That said, mild and minimal/borderline hearing loss is very common, even in children. As many as 10% of North American kids and teens have mild or minimal hearing loss. It does progress through life with age and exposure to loud sounds and tends to be in the upper frequencies first but not necessarily.
More, hearing loss is never even across all frequencies and is made worse by the fact that various key vowels and consonants are distributed across a relative band of frequencies. If you miss a key frequency for a particular performer, then speech can be unintelligible.
Another factor is that various sound systems always have a point in that range of sound frequencies that they don’t produce as well. If that takes out a key sound like a p or an I or an s for you, it can make speech unintelligible.
Frankly, I’m much more frustrated that those in sound mixing are seemingly oblivious to some of these well established issues in hearing and decoding speech. Soundscapes should enhance an experience . Having to strain or work hard to decode speech by filling in missing sounds is well established to be fatiguing and irritating.
In the case of Discovery, given Sonequa is the principal cast member, there is a genuine question why the sound isn’t being mixed to maximize her intelligibility.
Lorna, it is not disingenuous. I watch every episode of Discovery multiple times (because of our podcast) and never would it occur to me that Sonequa whispers or has some specific, narrow acting style.
Notice I’m not telling you that YOU don’t hear whispering; perhaps don’t be so quick to tell me that I do and I’m ignoring it. You need to accept that different people have different experiences. “Widespread comments” are not ultimate truth… in this case, there is no ultimate truth. I find Sonequa to be a very natural actress. She loads her dialogue with meaning and weight and complex emotion. You don’t have that experience when you watch her? Okay. Doesn’t mean you’re disingenuous.
I’m not lying. I legitimately don’t remember ever hearing her whisper.
No problem with Whispering, my mate has with crying
Agreed! I don’t understand it either. I can hear her just fine. It’s just something else for people to gripe about.
And AGAIN, no one has complained about not hearing her.
I agree: Burnham’s problem isn’t whispering.It’s that the character has progressively become less interesting / multi-faceted since Season One. She has become a bore. Same with Stamets Tilly never was interesting. Culber is very watchable; he has gravitas and is credible Same with the Saru character. Discovery is a really mixed bag as a result.
How come I’ve never noticed this whispering that people complain about? Not once. Usually this tends to be one of the sole remaining complaints of the “STD crowd”. But I’ve never been aware of it. Do they simply mean speaking in a quieter voice? Not everyone booms theatrically all the time. It would be pretty strange and unnatural if they did. Martin-Green is a fantastic actress and so unworthy of all this hate and criticism.
I honestly don’t think it’s her fault. I’ve seen her on other shows and she can do more. I really think it’s a problem of direction.
One instance of the whispering was the scene with Saru after talks broke down, I couldn’t get most of the dialogue. All the dialogue is recorded post production so in a studio environment you naturally drop your voice, it’s actually mostly down to the sound engineer and producer.
She has no subtlety though…she certainly doesn’t have the nuances of Doug Jones, he engages and brings you in, whereas Burnham feels like she is always one second away from an emotional outburst
I noticed her whispering since season 1. She does it in dramatic scenes all the time.
I too find it annoying.
From wikipedia: “Loud whispering, known as a stage whisper, is generally used only for dramatic or emphatic purposes. Whispering requires more air to create lower volume and it tires out the vocal cords more quickly.”
What folks are describing wouldn’t qualify as a stage whisper.
Those are intelligible across a large theatre.
This piece has ben shared widely in the film community and might be relevant here.
Thanks. Lots of excellent points in that article.
i think it may come from actors starting out on soap operas or other dramatic TV shows and not the “Stage ACTORS” we grew up with . Anthony Rapp doesn’t seem to have this issue but he’s done a ton of stage work. and to be fair, Sonequa had to learn to speak softly to not attract the zombies.
This I hope is the final season of this show..it’s still not sure of itself and when it tries to do things right it feels forced and rushed..and I worry about SNW if the disco level of writing is replicated there.
Hints of Tilly returning to a Starfleet Academy show would be a nail in the coffin for that show as well.
You are so right. DIS has really gone down hill fast this season. So much so it’s cringy to watch, let alone get through an episode from beginning to end. Hope it is the last season.
Season Three was cringy, too!
Think you’re in the minority on that opinion friend. Discovery, I think, has gotten better each season. And we already know they are working on an Academy show – didn’t know it was 32nd century, but ok.
Why I love Tilly’s story arc?
Star Trek is best when it sends a message. For me, Tilly’s new path was relevant to me. I recently was having a hard time finding a new path. I was certain I wanted to be one thing but recently didn’t know if I truly wanted it anymore. And I wanted it for a very long time. Tilly and Mama Burnham’s discussion got me thinking questioning my self more than ever. Just a few days ago I realized that my old path was dead and it was time to choose to live another path. Seeing Tilly come to that realization in this episode, free from familial expectations, reaffirmed I made the right choice and made me realize that circumstances change and it is OK to choose to make a difference in another capacity and it’s not failing, but evolving. So, thank you LT. Tilly for the reflection and helping me be honest with myself.
As far as the cadets, I’m a teacher and I see how kids are disconnected from another, even though they are are on social media constantly. They communicate but don’t communicate. Seeing Tilly force them to learn something from one another but find common ground was beautiful. The lesson is that no matter where they come from or whatever the past, the future doesn’t have to be filled based on past prejudices, a new world can be built on communicating and not making snap judgements about each other.. She’s going to be a great teacher at the academy. I hope she’s the commandant at Starfleet Academy….hint hint writers….
Thank you for a great podcast.
Clearly not ready to be commandant. But I think she could be captain of a training vessel.
Tilly can certainly be irritating — not *quite* as irritating as some Trekmovie commenters think, but she’s not as “cute”, “adorable” or “delightful” as her defenders think either — so her potential role in the Starfleet Academy show may be a chance to effectively reboot the character. Mary Wiseman has made guarded comments saying Tilly’s reappearance later in the season on DSC will involve “her hair being slightly different and she’s wearing a different outfit”, which is amusing in the sense of it being an obvious statement while not necessarily giving much away, but there may be bigger changes to Tilly’s appearance and behaviour too.
Kovich’s involvement leads me to suspect that Tilly may have unknowingly been drafted into Section 31. Parallels with this sort of thing apparently happening in real life (eg. the CIA targeting of students at Yale, as depicted in the Matt Damon movie “The Good Shepherd”). In fact, this may even connect to my fun theory that Tilly will eventually turn out to be Captain Garrett from “Yesterday’s Enterprise” — so keep an eye out if Tilly’s new hairstyle at any point matches Garrett’s hair ;)
I’ve previously gone into detail with suggestions for the proposed Section 31 show, so I won’t repeat those points again this time. But something else that has occurred to me is that it could be interesting for the show to depict (amongst other things) Section 31 covertly taking significant actions during some major events already seen in other/earlier Trek shows and films (either involving time-travel or that era’s version of S31 — or both). A bit like “Trials and Tribbleations” (but much more serious) or the VOY episode about Seven time-travelling (but with much bigger geopolitical stakes). It could add a thought-provoking twist to the audience’s view of those events, and of course it also provides scope for certain CGI/deepfaked “guest appearances” if necessary.
The “Star Trek Universe crossover” thing…Well, it depends on how it’s handled, doesn’t it? Yes, the recent Arrowverse stuff was very clever — and stunt-casting Jon “Alan Harper” Cryer as *Lex Luthor* and having the guy turn up in front of Smallville’s Tom Welling has got to make you smile — but as other Trekmovie commenters have noted, there are dangers of drawing too much inspiration from the CW style of shows, especially any excessive touchy-feely stuff, something that already appears to be surfacing on DSC. Add too much “CGI superhero/supervillain” malarkey to the mix and the whole thing becomes as ridiculous as, well, any number of recent superhero shows and films. And yes, I know there are some honourable exceptions.
Let me put it another way. What is Kurtzman’s primary target audience? For the sci-fi aspects, is it fans of the CW/Marvel/DC superhero franchises, or fans of the Christopher Nolan/Denis Villeneuve style of filmmaking? For the Section 31 show, is it fans of the Mission Impossible movies and The Blacklist and similar “spy” shows during the past decade that are as “realistic” as comic-book stories (as James Spader described his own show), or fans of Bourne/Treadstone etc that at least try to have some real-world gravitas? Yes yes, I know people can be fans of both examples, but hopefully you understand my basic point here.
More positively, some hope rests in the fact that PIC Season 2 seems to have an entirely different vibe to the second half of Season 1, at least based on the trailers. And as I’ve suggested before, it would be nice twist if it does have a “crossover” angle too in the form of Kovich turning out to be active on Earth during the 21st century at the same time as Picard & co’s mission there…