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Two Captains Log: Weekly Review Of Strange New Worlds And Orville, SNW Ep. 10 & Orville Ep. 6

It is time once again for this week’s review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and The Orville: New Horizons. Both episodes this week feature time travel as the prime catalyst for the plots. So, without further adieu, here are Mr. DAPs’ and Murray’s thoughts on “A Quality of Mercy” and “Twice in a Lifetime.”

Music

Mr. DAPs: “As has become the case on a weekly basis, both shows had wonderful scores. However, Strange New Worlds had a score that fits better with the episode. Orville’s soundtrack tended to go over the top and be too grandiose for what is happening. It almost reminded me of Star Trek: The Motion Picture with long drawn out beautiful music and scenes that just didn’t help most the story along quickly enough.”

Murray: “Both shows had a great soundtrack, but Orville still has a problem with their music overtaking scenes. Though they both provided heightened mood to the scenes, Strange New Worlds did a better job at keeping it a background score.”

Design

Mr. DAPs: “This week had some interesting effects on both show. Strange New World rebuilt a storyline that anyone who watched The Original Series would be familiar with. With this, came some nods to a couple of different eras in the Star Trek timeline. This led to some cool ships and a certain variation on a uniform as well. Overall, it was a nice connection with the past in a new way. Orville also provided some moments that were pretty awesome in terms of effects, mostly with time travel but also with a battle sequence. For the most part, this looked pretty good as well. Star Trek definitely had a bigger hill to climb this week, however.”

Murray: “Orville had the advantage of being placed mostly in our present time period. It made for minimal use of effects. There were a couple of great shots and even sound used in this episode. The combination of special effects and sound of filling a hole in a house was a great effect and combination not really done in anything else I can think of. Then there were the shots from space beside the moon. They were great stellar shots. However, I did like the effects in ‘A Quality of Mercy’ for Strange New Worlds a bit more. There was nostalgia to the Romulan weapons. They did a great job at showcasing the older Romulan ships in a new way.”

Story

Mr. DAPs: “The two shows this week both oddly enough were related to time travel. Both had interesting takes on this subject. Both stories made sense. Both had some pretty significant implications for the future of their respective shows and timeline. While there was some plot devices that weren’t needed at the beginning of Orville, this week it seems that Orville had the more solid story. While both dealt with the implications of messing with a timeline, Orville took it deeper and flushed it out better. Strange New Worlds was a very enjoyable episode that will definitely have implications moving forward, and significant ones, but Orville’s overall story just made more sense.

Murray: “This week was rather interesting since both plots were tackling the idea of the ethics of time travel and selfishness taking over for that. Strange New Worlds even remade a classic TOS episode. But, I think that Orville won in the story category. They plugged holes in time travel questions I would have had, and maybe it was convenient plot devices like actual time travel rules, but it really intensified the main question of the episode. It brought up an aspect of these common time travel scenarios that Star Trek conveniently glosses over.”

This Week’s Winner

Mr. DAPs: “This week I find myself giving the win to Strange New Worlds. At the end of the day, this comes down to execution. I really liked the story that Orville delivered this week. I just felt like there was a lot of unnecessary fluff added in too frequently. There were also some really fun moments as well. The same could be said for Strange New Worlds, it also has a lot of fun moments. There were also a couple of question marks with the story and time travel but… at the end of the day, it simply felt more polished. If Orville could tighten things up and get rid of some of the extra fluff that slows the show down, I think it would have won. However, I found myself distracted by extra-long shuttle launching sequences with over-the-top accompanying soundtracks. This week was very close but Star Trek edged out Orville.”

Murray: “I have to give the win to Orville just for the originality of story. ‘Twice in a Lifetime’ was a more emotionally weighty story. ‘A Quality of Mercy’ was a little more about a time travel mystery than dealing with Pike’s selfishness. But, Orville touched on a very hard question to deal with. The crew didn’t even know the consequences, yet Star Trek was laying them out on the table instead. I’m left with thinking through what I would do and what the right answer is after Orville and it makes me wonder if that was the point of the episode – is it truly selfish or not? And I must say that they nailed that question better than Pixar’s Lightyear did.”

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