Sweden First Look and Analysis – Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

Queen Kristina of Sweden, in Civilization 6: Gathering Storm. Image Credit: Firaxis Games
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TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: The Escape Artist

TL;DR – What happens when you let Rainn Wilson run riot, well you get a fascinating moment in Star Trek history.  

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: The Escape Artist. Image Credit CBS Studios.

Review

We finish our run through the Star Trek Short Trek mini-episodes by looking at the episode that brings back one of the best guest cast members from Star Trek Discovery’s first season.

So to set the scene, we open inside a ship crewed by a Tellarite bounty hunter Tevrin Krit (Harry Judge) who is having a very good day because he was about to come into possession of Harry Mudd (Rainn Wilson) a man who has done great harm to his family. It is with joy that he takes Mudd from the broker (that gave me odd Breen vibes) to the nearest Starfleet vessel to claim the significant bounty, as Mudd pleads for his life every step of the way.

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TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: The Brightest Star

TL;DR – We explore the difficult past of one of Discovery’s officers and learn once again that hope is better than fear.

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: The Brightest Star. Image Credit CBS Studios.

Review

Our next dive into the Star Trek Short Trek series takes us into the past to let us know more about a character we know very well in Star Trek Discovery and what is driving him forward.

So to set the scene, we open in on Kaminar a planet never visited before in Star Trek and homeworld of USS Discovery first officer Saru (Doug Jones). Though at this moment he is not in Starfleet because his people are part of a pre-warp society, which is a big no go area in Federation law. The Kelpien people live in small villages along the coast where they harvest seaweed and grasses, as well as the flowers of the jungle. However, while Saru looks up at the stars and sees hope, the rest of his people see fear because the Ba’ul are coming for their harvest.

Star Trek Short Treks: The Brightest Star. Image Credit CBS Studios.
Doug Jones continues to shine as Saru. Image Credit CBS Studios.

If you have read my reviews for Season One of Star Trek Discovery (see here) one of the things you will know is that I was really impressed with the acting of Doug Jones and the writing of Saru. Doug Jones is acting under some really heavy prosthetics, however, there is warmth and depth to his performance, and he can emote in ways you shouldn’t be able to do with such restrictions. We see that same quality here in The Brightest Star. It is exploring that moment before he became part of Starfleet, what drove him, and what continues to drive him forward.

In this case, it is a tradition of his people that while championed as being balance, harmony with the planet, is clearly an exploitative relationship. The Ba’ul take, or as they call it ‘harvest’, many of the Kelpiens in the village to ‘bring back balance’ but as we know from the Mirror Universe in Vaulting Ambition (see review) I doubt harmony has anything to do with it.

Star Trek Short Treks: The Brightest Star. Image Credit CBS Studios.
The Brightest Star looks at the role of tradition in our lives, and how harmful it can be if we don’t question it. Image Credit CBS Studios.

Thus the writers Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt have created this interesting cultural dilemma which will test the Federation’s big no no, the Prime Directive. You can not interfere in the development of a pre-warp species and for good reason. However, what if another species has already, or is currently messing around, well this is a grey area if ever there was one. This means that this is the first one of these Short Treks that I really hope they follow this story up at some point in Discovery, because I want to see more of this dilemma play out and how it will impact Saru. Also just finally, yes, of course, it was Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) that did the right thing, such a joyous moment.

In the end, do we recommend The Brightest Star? Yes, of course, we do. This is everything Star Trek can be, you have the worldbuilding of Kaminar, the philosophical dilemma, and then, always, the superb acting of Doug Jones. Make sure you check this one out.               

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you seen Star Trek Discovery yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.    

Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Star Trek Discovery
Directed by
– Douglas Aarniokoski
Written by – Bo Yeon Kim & Erika Lippoldt
Created by – Bryan Fuller & Alex Kurtzman
Starring – Doug Jones, Hannah Spear, Robert Verlaque & Michelle Yeoh   

TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: Calypso

TL;DR – When it is working in on the relationship between the two characters it shines, but it does present some interesting implications that I am not so sure about.  

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: Calypso. Image Credit CBS Studios.

Review

We continue our dive into the world of the Star Trek Discovery Short Treks by looking at the episode that is to date is the furthest we have been on the official timeline (depending maybe on that one Voyager episode).

So to set the scene, The USS Discovery has been sitting in a nebula for 1000 years when a surprise escape pod comes across it in the dark. When Craft (Aldis Hodge) awakes he find no one on board bar just a voice called Zora (Annabelle Wallis) who explains where he is and he lets her know that the world has dramatically changed.

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TV Review – Star Trek Short Treks: Runaway

TL;DR – A beautiful character piece that makes the most of the short run time.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Star Trek Short Treks: Runaway. Image Credit CBS Studios.

Review

Today we are going to be doing small mini-reviews for all the Star Trek Shorts, starting with an exploration of what it means to step forward and change your life.

So to set the scene, it is after Will You Take My Hand? (see review) and Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman) has officially entered the Command Training Program, which is a huge achievement, which is completely lost on her mother Siobhan (Mimi Kuzyk). As this is going on a standard cargo run is interrupted by a stowaway and the two are about to crash together.

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TV Review – Sex Education: Season One

TL;DR – It a show where sex is very much front and centre, however, it is actually the relationships that actually shine through.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Sex Education. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There are some people who would like a do over, go back in time and do high school all over again, or indeed there are those people who never left. I would never go back to that hellscape of hormones, and finding yourself while the world gets ripped out from underneath you. Well today we look at a series that explores that very time period in all its uncomfortableness.

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TV Review – The Good Place: The Book of Dougs

TL;DR – While it does not always quite get there, it was still an interesting ride.

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Good Place: The Book of Dougs. Image Credit: NBC.

Review

After three seasons of trying the gang is finally in the good place, and after all this, the emotional and social capital to get us here does it actually hold up? Well no, but then I think it does something a little more important, maybe.

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