Category Archives: Television

Lawyer inspired by Star Trek’s Picard

The most amazing thing in this article was reading that ST:TNG, made its debut 30 years ago. THIRTY YEARS ago?!  –CPL

Star Trek was a key part of my legal education

Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard boldly went where all lawyers should dare to go, Gavin MacFadyen writes.

While Trekkies everywhere are excited over the arrival of Star Trek: Discovery, it was an earlier series in that venerable franchise that influenced my professional life as a lawyer.

Thirty years ago this week, the debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation coincided with my first year of law school at McGill. My legal apprenticeship would have been well-served if I skipped class and only had that series upon which to draw.

Lawyers often cite Atticus Finch as a character from whom they drew their inspiration. For me, it was Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise, who provided a lifelong seminar in legal philosophy, morality and ethics.

In the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, an omniscient and meddlesome being called Q places the Enterprise crew on trial for the crimes of humanity.

“You will now answer to the charge of being a grievously savage race,” says Q, acting as judge.

“‘Grievously savage’ could mean anything. I will answer only specific charges,” Picard fires back. He is, in essence, challenging the legal sufficiency of the charge as being void for vagueness.

As a criminal defence lawyer, I learned that mastering the minutiae of procedure and challenging each point is what builds a reputation that prosecutors hate in opposing counsel. Their desire to avoid prolonged and costly trials is what fuels the plea bargaining that typically marks the resolution of criminal proceedings.

Another first season episode brought home that punishment must always be informed by fairness. In Justice, laws on a seemingly idyllic planet have only one punishment: death. Wesley Crusher, teenage son of the ship’s doctor, damages some flowers while playing catch.

Captain Picard is now faced with a moral choice: If he stays true to the Prime Directive (i.e. absolute noninterference in developing cultures) the result would be Wesley’s execution.

What does Picard do? What would any of us do?

He prevents the execution, of course! Picard had a sophisticated understanding of context. It drove home the point that the law must always reflect common sense.

It is in what is perhaps the most widely lauded episode of the series, The Measure of a Man, where Picard shines brightest. A Star Fleet scientist wishes to appropriate the Enterprise’s android Data and dismantle him for study and possible replication.

A hearing is convened. Picard argues that Data is a sentient being who should be accorded the right of self-determination. Picard emphasizes that any ruling today will bind all the potential androids that come after. A new race of beings could be subject to “servitude and slavery.”

It was a valuable early reminder that legal rulings create precedents. As well, Picard’s willingness to stand with those who would otherwise stand alone reminds us that vigilance in the face of officially sanctioned oppression of those who are “other from us” is an ongoing struggle.

More than a decade before 9/11, Picard recognized that security must never come at the expense of due process. In the episode The Drumhead, the uncovering of a single Klingon agent on board the Enterprise results in an official inquiry conducted by a visiting admiral who sees spies and saboteurs under every 24th-century bed.

Swiftly, accusation and innuendo smother the search for truth.

When a young crewman is singled out for lying about his parentage — his Romulan grandfather — the inquiry turns into a witch hunt.

That episode taught me that tyranny does not announce itself in one grand moment, but takes hold incrementally and can cloak itself in the veil of innocent inquiry and investigation.

What made Jean-Luc Picard so inspiring was his default approach: He always asked what should happen and not what a statute said must happen.

He identified the just result, and then constructed an argument to make it happen.

He boldly went where all lawyers should be willing to go.

The Orville

The Orville is drawing mixed reviews with some fans loving it, and more serious critics panning it. The graphics and effects are wonderful, but I thought the jokes were gutter level.

As a spoof, Galaxy Quest did it soooo much better.

But that’s jut my own opinion, speaking as a 60+ aged fan whose seen too many rip-offs, spoofs, and reboots. Maybe if I were a boy, about 15, I would think it hilarious.

A few fans have mentioned how awful the pilot for TNG was, and that the Orville just needs a bit of time to find the sweet spot between fun and too silly.

But did you think? Love it? Hate it? Going to give it more time?

 

 

 

Local firm works on Game of Thrones

RODEO FX HEATS UP THE SCREEN

JOHN MAHONEY These 3D-printed stallions helped Sébastien Moreau’s company, Rodeo FX, create effects for the television show Game of Thrones.

The final episode of the most recent season of Game of Thrones ends with a dragon destroying a location that has played a major role in the plot of the popular TV show.

Behind the scenes, making the destruction look real, was Montreal-based Rodeo FX.

The company has been working on visual effects for Game of Thrones for four years — creating and destroying cities; making dragons breathe fire and oceans boil; and bringing thousands of extras to life through digital effects. For three years in a row, it’s won Emmy Awards for its work on the show.

While Game of Thrones isn’t in the running for any Emmys this year — the seventh season premièred too late in the year — Rodeo FX is nominated for its work on another show, Black Sails.

“Visual effects are becoming more and more important in the film industry and TV industry, the budgets are growing,” said Sébastien Moreau, the company’s founder and president.

At any given time, the company is working on between six and 10 projects, many of them major Hollywood films. The studio recently spent two years working on Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which came out in July. It also worked on an adaptation of Stephen King ’s It, which comes out in September, and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049, directed by Quebecer Denis Villeneuve.

Continue reading Local firm works on Game of Thrones

ST: Discovery on Crave TV

Click here to read full press release

TORONTO, Aug. 23, 2017 /CNW/ – Set phasers to stream as STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, the hotly anticipated next instalment of the iconic sci-fi series, is coming to CraveTV. Already home to the robust STAR TREK Collection, which features the entire STAR TREK television library, the eagerly anticipated new series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY begins streaming exclusively on CraveTV, Monday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET with a special two-episode premiere. This follows the series’ previously announced Canadian broadcast premiere Sunday, September 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT on CTV and Space, day-and-date with CBS and CBS All Access in the U.S. Subsequent episodes stream on CraveTV Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

Following each new episode, the official STAR TREK: DISCOVERY after-show, TALKING TREK, streams on CraveTV. The first episode of TALKING TREK streams Monday, September 25 at 10 p.m. ET, with new episodes rolling out every week at 9 p.m. ET.