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The trip to get to Mars takes 9 months. If they could provide consumables for the trip, one would think they could provide for an extended stay, at least until the rest of the armada arrived. One could speculate that the intent was to arrive first and announce a propaganda victory, that that was probably thwarted by the crash of their Mars lander. I guess we'll see next week.



In our timeline, the Soviets carried some form of survival arm in their capsules, at least in the early days. Among other reasons, Russians had a not unreasonable fear that bears might be a problem if there were to be a delay in getting to the landing site.
IIRC, there is still a firearm in the survival gear in the Soyuz spacecraft performing crew rotations to ISS.
 

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The only "soap opera plot" that bothers me at all is the baby. If your show is not specifically about babies or, slightly more broadly, if it is not specifically a show about raising a family, then adding a baby plotline to the show is NOT A GOOD IDEA.

If I were ever in charge of a writers' room this would be on a giant sign on every wall in the room.
They tried to tackle the "What happens if someone is pregnant and has a baby in space" idea. I don't think they did it well with the back story which it seems that every American falls for a Russian counterpart?). I think it's a worthy topic to explore, though, especially as it's been considered.
 

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Lots to unpack in the penultimate episode:

Universal:
  • Six Month Time Jump.
Earth: Washington DC
  • Honestly did not see the reveal of Ellen's sexuality playing out as a response to political blackmail. And while I think that her presidancy will survive, it may still be brought down if/when Margo's treason comes to light. That will give Congress the cover to bring NASA to heel and exert oversight.
    • Loved Ellens commentary that Congress will be the death of space exploration.
  • I wonder of Larry will remain closeted?
  • Loved the parallel to the Nixon administration when erasing the tape. REALLY surprised that Ellen allowed it to remain in use.
Earth: JSC
  • Aleida had not let it go, and cracked it. Bill was in the right calling in an FBI contact to gently push her into providing her information. Her reaction destroying her analysis is understandable since it went from being a theory to being real. She still has a decision in front of her.
  • No Jimmy Stevens? Where did the statue go? What are the conspiracy theory gang up to?
Earth: Helios
  • Dev is now a mash-up of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs. Dev is looking to the horizon and moving forward, regardless of the current situation. His beat on the settles at Jamestown VA was spot on. It was a commentary of the US is not able/willing to accept that spaceflight is dangerous. And, he is not wrong.
  • Oh, Karen, are you going to go along with the Board's removal of Dev? Surprise Ed! I'm your boss! I think there is still a twist there. Selling Phoenix to NASA was brilliant, but then makes it under US domain. So IF Kelly delivers on Phoenix the baby is a US Citizen.
Mars Orbit: Phoenix
  • Ok, I'm parking this rant here. IF I followed the dialog correctly Helios did not plan on rendezvousing with Sorjournor or Mars 96 spacecraft so there were no rendezvous systems integrated on the vehicle. The Soviet (Russian) KURS systems require 2 parts to work, one on each vehicle. Just adding one on Popeye wouldn't work. Unless I missed something in the dialog.
Mars: Happy Valley
  • So the 3 teams have integrated in the remaining Helios Hab? For viability I would think the crews, while integrated, should be split between Happy Valley and Sojourner.
  • Ok, the poster who predicted the MSAM wasn't a box of junk, congrats. Now I think its going to come down to the MSAM isn't able to get EVERYONE off the surface due to fuel limitations.
  • Danny still needs to be airlocked. Yep, they pinned his blunder on the dead guy. Its still all on you Danny. That said, why am I divining a redemption act by him saving Ed or Kelly? Maybe the sci-fi trope of "not enough fuel Ill stay behind, which is the not enough room in the lifeboat ill stay on the ship trope. Maybe he will die a hero like his parents.
  • The Soviets went from ominous about Kelly's pregnancy to supporting it fully seems like a plot disconnect.
  • Who is in command? Ed? Danielle? It's Helios's base.
Mars: North Korean Probe Landing Site
  • Hello There!
How they are ending this I have no idea, but I am along for the ride.
 

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They tried to tackle the "What happens if someone is pregnant and has a baby in space" idea. I don't think they did it well with the back story which it seems that every American falls for a Russian counterpart?). I think it's a worthy topic to explore, though, especially as it's been considered.
It is a very valid discussion point since one of the goals of Mars exploration is colonization. Colonists have babies. No form of birth control is 100% effective. No amount of orders and rules will be 100% in preventing people on the frontier (Mars) from having sex. It is valid to theorize what the effects of the reduced Martian gravity (38% of Earth) would have on a fetus. Since a fetus develops in a sack of liquid that I would theorize that skeletal formation would not be affected by that. But I am no doctor.
 

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Mars Orbit: Phoenix
  • Ok, I'm parking this rant here. IF I followed the dialog correctly Helios did not plan on rendezvousing with Sorjournor or Mars 96 spacecraft so there were no rendezvous systems integrated on the vehicle. The Soviet (Russian) KURS systems require 2 parts to work, one on each vehicle. Just adding one on Popeye wouldn't work. Unless I missed something in the dialog.
I think the issue is that Sojourner is grounded and doesn't use the Soviet docking process, but might have still been able to dock.
Mars: Happy Valley
  • Ok, the poster who predicted the MSAM wasn't a box of junk, congrats. Now I think its going to come down to the MSAM isn't able to get EVERYONE off the surface due to fuel limitations.
TYVM.. I was one of those :)
 

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The only "soap opera plot" that bothers me at all is the baby. If your show is not specifically about babies or, slightly more broadly, if it is not specifically a show about raising a family, then adding a baby plotline to the show is NOT A GOOD IDEA.

If I were ever in charge of a writers' room this would be on a giant sign on every wall in the room.
Of course, adding a baby to a Mars expedition is NOT A GOOD IDEA.

Which, I suspect, is the whole point...
As Rob said, this isn't a standard "Let's add a baby to the plot" storyline. This is a very valid addition of "What happens if someone gets pregnant in space? On another planet? What nationality is the baby if the parents are from two "enemy" nations?

Lots to unpack in the penultimate episode:

Earth: Washington DC
  • Loved the parallel to the Nixon administration when erasing the tape. REALLY surprised that Ellen allowed it to remain in use.
How they are ending this I have no idea, but I am along for the ride.
Except remember in this timeline, Nixon wasn't brought down by Watergate, so the Oval Office recording system wasn't publicized. So if (as stated in this episode) the recording system was installed by JFK, it's possible none of the presidents since then have been aware of it, and essentially Wilson is now the one being bludgeoned with the existence of the tapes just like Nixon was in real life - even down to the discussion of "what if some of the tape was just magically erased?"
 

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They tried to tackle the "What happens if someone is pregnant and has a baby in space" idea. I don't think they did it well with the back story which it seems that every American falls for a Russian counterpart?). I think it's a worthy topic to explore, though, especially as it's been considered.
I guess why didn't NASA, RSA, and Helios plan/expect for this situation and do everything they could to prevent it? Humans on a three(?) year trip are going to have desires. While I would hope the agencies provides ways for the astronauts to "relieve" themselves. Every astronaut should have been on a form of Birth Control. And, have a "Plan B" option. (I don't remember if Plan B was available in the 90s)
 

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Except remember in this timeline, Nixon wasn't brought down by Watergate, so the Oval Office recording system wasn't publicized. So if (as stated in this episode) the recording system was installed by JFK, it's possible none of the presidents since then have been aware of it, and essentially Wilson is now the one being bludgeoned with the existence of the tapes just like Nixon was in real life - even down to the discussion of "what if some of the tape was just magically erased?"
This is the double edged sword for a show like this. We are used to the timeline as we have lived it. We also have writers who feel that they have carte blanche with the timeline due the fact that the timeline is not the same as we know. So they throw in things like this, where the audience KNOWS the tapes were what brought down Nixon, but, in the timeline, that never happened. There were also quite a few things that seemed strange to me when they brought it up because I know the real timeline. Like the Apollo 23 explosion (we know that there never WAS an Apollo 23 and that there were explosions on Apollo 1 and 2 Space Shuttle missions in the real timeline).
 

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I guess why didn't NASA, RSA, and Helios plan/expect for this situation and do everything they could to prevent it? Humans on a three(?) year trip are going to have desires. While I would hope the agencies provides ways for the astronauts to "relieve" themselves. Every astronaut should have been on a form of Birth Control. And, have a "Plan B" option. (I don't remember if Plan B was available in the 90s)
Remember, different time line (RSA? I assume you mean USSR, RSA = Republic of South Africa). So it's "possible" they might have wanted this to happen (I don't recall if that was disputed or not). It doesn't matter if Plan B was available in "our 1990s" because it's quite possible it was in theirs. Didn't they have an ad for a different erectile dysfunction pill? (It's quite possible I'm confusing this show with another time travel show I watched episodes over the weekend...The Paper Girls).
 

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I guess why didn't NASA, RSA, and Helios plan/expect for this situation and do everything they could to prevent it? Humans on a three(?) year trip are going to have desires. While I would hope the agencies provides ways for the astronauts to "relieve" themselves. Every astronaut should have been on a form of Birth Control. And, have a "Plan B" option. (I don't remember if Plan B was available in the 90s)
And other than barrier methods, what sort of "male birth control" are you referring to? Or should only female astronauts be on hormonal contraceptives? Maybe all the males should have had vasectomies prior to launch?
 

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Except remember in this timeline, Nixon wasn't brought down by Watergate, so the Oval Office recording system wasn't publicized. So if (as stated in this episode) the recording system was installed by JFK, it's possible none of the presidents since then have been aware of it, and essentially Wilson is now the one being bludgeoned with the existence of the tapes just like Nixon was in real life - even down to the discussion of "what if some of the tape was just magically erased?"
Sorry, I can't go with the POTUS not being aware the recording system was present. IIRC the Nixon's Executive Secretary was in charge of its operation. Those people come with the office holders, they are not career staff.

And, its been a while, and I was a a pre-teen when it happened, but my memory does not recall that Nixon ever asserted that he was unaware of the systems existence. But now that you mention it, I wonder if the break-in or cover-up actually happened in this timeline?
 

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Sorry, I can't go with the POTUS not being aware the recording system was present. IIRC the Nixon's Executive Secretary was in charge of its operation. Those people come with the office holders, they are not career staff.

And, its been a while, and I was a a pre-teen when it happened, but my memory does not recall that Nixon ever asserted that he was unaware of the systems existence. But now that you mention it, I wonder if the break-in or cover-up actually happened in this timeline?
Well, it's kind of immaterial whether POTUS knew about the existence of the recording system in either scenario. The key issue is that Nixon was either unaware, or forgot, or didn't realize that when he discussed illegal things in the Oval, it would create a record that could be discoverable through subpoena. Since that never happened with Nixon in this timeline, they're playing out the same scenario with Wilson. Maybe she knew about the recording devices or maybe she didn't, but either way she and Larry discussed sensitive topics in the Oval, including his sexual dalliances and the possibility of obstructing the Congressional investigation.
 

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It did, but since he lost the election it didn't matter as much.
He didn't lose. He won in '72 and continued in office until Reagan won in '76. In the FAM universe, Nixon is widely revered as a great president. That's why his picture is front and center above the fireplace in the Oval, with Lincoln and Washington on the sides.
 

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Ted Kennedy won in '72. Nixon in the FAM timeline was a single-term president.
Hmmm. I guess I must have forgotten that. Then why is Nixon's picture prominently displayed in the Oval during Wilson's presidency? Maybe because he was the POTUS who created the female astronaut program that is the reason she is where she is today.
 

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It may just be that RMN didn't take the bashing in the FAM timeline sans Watergate. (which still happened- just was swept under the rug by Ted Kennedy) He did end the war in Vietnam. And he probably still went to China.

But I had funny feelings about the Nixon portrait up front and center in the Oval too. I thought that Reagan would be up there for sure.
 
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