‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Review: ‘Choose Your Pain’ Puts the Crew in a World of Hurt

Star Trek Discovery Choose Your Pain Review 2

Okay, what was with that ending of the latest Star Trek: Discovery episode? Did “Choose Your Pain” turn Star Trek into a horror show?

“Choose Your Pain” is, as the title suggests, filled with tons of pain, including the minor pain of seeing another Stamets continue to look in his bathroom mirror while the real Stamets walked away. The only levity found in this episode, aside from the first usage of the f-word in Star Trek history, was Rainn Wilson’s highly enjoyable Harry Mudd. Seeing this Star Trek OG character was a sight for sore eyes. Speaking of sore eyes, let’s get into the types of pain caused by both the Klingons and Starfleet.

Lorca’s Eye Problem

As a person with 20/80 vision, I sympathize with Lorca trying to protect his eyes at all costs. When he’s captured by Klingons, I had to actually avoid looking at the screen since the Klingons’ choice of torment for Lorca was to subject his eyes to harsh light. I’m squeamish about any kind of eye prodding.

I thought he would have gone blind after that. Conveniently for the action sequences, he did not, but it seems like his eyes have been badly damaged. He’s been told to get his eyes “fixed,” but what does that entail? Does that mean Lorca will don some eyewear like Geordi La Forge’s visor?  That’d be cool.

Also: we find out he’s killed an entire crew before his turn on the Discovery. It’s a shocker, even though Lorca has been portrayed thus far as a possible villain. But was it for a good reason? Was he really trying to keep them from being abused as Klingon POWs? My money is on him just being bloodthirsty.

Star Trek Discovery Choose Your Pain Review 3

Tyler’s Sexual Assault

Poor Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) was a victim of sexual assault aboard the Klingon vessel. What else does the line “the captain of this ship has taken a liking to me” to mean? Thankfully, Tyler managed to escape with the help of Lorca, but not before he got some licks in on his attacker. Yes, his attacker is a woman Klingon.

Considering the news we’ve been hearing from Hollywood and the film criticism industry over these last few weeks, it’s quite poignant that this episode would air now. It provides another layer to the conversations we’ve been having about victims and predators. In this case, Star Trek: Discovery is shining a light on male victims of sexual assault at the hands of female perpetrators.

The insinuation that Tyler has been raped repeatedly by the Klingon captain was so subtle in the dialogue between Tyler and Lorca that it’s easy to look past it, or even excuse it away as Tyler purposefully using his sex appeal to his advantage. But the way he swings at the Klingon captain tells a different story. He’s trying to throw back some of the pain she’s caused him.

Tyler’s victimhood might also go unrecognized by some viewers due to how much our society’s view of toxic masculinity keeps us from seeing men as sexual assault victims, especially when it’s at the hands of a woman. Male victims are often scorned or seen as weak. Just look to last week, when Terry Crews revealed he had been sexually assaulted by a powerful Hollywood executive. While Crews received tons of support, there were also people — many of them men — wondering why he didn’t say anything and why he, as a man, didn’t do anything, particularly since his assailant was another man. Some people assumed Crews couldn’t be a victim just because he’s a burly man (that’s not counting the racial implications there are to this assumption).

While women are often wrongly stereotyped as “asking for it,” male victims are also stereotyped in the same way. Somehow, it’s always painted as the victim’s fault — not the perpetrator’s — for their own assault. Even worse for men is when other men might congratulate male victims for “getting lucky” if their assailant happened to be a woman.  I haven’t seen much on the internet in the way of actually recognizing Tyler’s trauma — I’ve only seen one person tweet about wanting the show to explore Tyler’s PTSD. I’ve also seen a person say Tyler ended “a relationship” with the Klingon captain? This was no relationship. Hopefully, Discovery will explore this further. After all, Star Trek has always been about using science fiction to tackle real world social, moral, and ethical questions and quandaries. It’s only right for the new show to dig deep here.

Star Trek Discovery Choose Your Pain Review 1

The Tardigrade’s Abuse

Seeing the Discovery crew abuse the tardigrade so much was quite painful. I won’t go into a “Would the original Star Trek have done this?” debate since the Discovery is a ship under duress in a myriad of ways. However, the tardigrade’s suffering provided a much-needed moral wake-up call for the science crew, which — thanks to Michael — realized the tardigrade was in distress.

They realized this too slowly, though. Honestly, it’s quite surprising and tone-deaf for the crew to not realize that this animal could have some form of sentience. Even Saru, who is prey on his planet, assumes the animal has no smarts. You’d think he of all people would understand what it’s like to be, well, preyed upon.

Folks were also slow to get into gear solely because it’s Michael giving them the advice. I get she got nearly everyone on board the Shenzhou killed, including the beloved Captain Georgiou, but doggone it, do they still not get that everything she does involves trying to save people’s lives?

On the flip side, everyone’s got a right to be mad at her, especially Saru, who idolized Georgiou as much as Michael did. Saru expected to become Georgiou’s next Number One, but, as he told Michael later, he never got that chance. His grief increased when he was made acting captain in Lorca’s absence; a role he felt he would have been more prepared for if he had gotten the same training from Georgiou as Michael did.

Saru didn’t have another option except to use the tardigrade to find Lorca; if another host for the tardigrade DNA was available, the tardigrade could have been spared. But after it went into protection mode, another organism had to step up. That organism was Stamets. The tardigrade was set free, but Stamets has apparently opened up a tear in the space-time continuum that could be the beginning of the mirror-verse and the start of the alternate realities as we know it (hello, Star Trek reboot series). Things are going to get loopy.

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‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Alien’ Star John Hurt Has Died at 77

John Hurt Dead

With a career spanning over 55 years, John Hurt was one of the best actors to come out of the United Kingdom. But sadly, the Oscar nominee who has done everything from blockbuster franchises to Shakespearean theater has left us far too soon.

After celebrating his birthday just five days ago, Sir John Hurt has died at 77 years old, as confirmed by the actor’s publicist Charles McDonald late last night. We remember John Hurt and his decorated career below.

News of John Hurt dead wasn’t accompanied with an official cause of death (via Variety), but the actor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2015, and it seems as if that battle finally took the ultimate toll on him.

In his early life, Hurt trained to become a painter, but after being accepted into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he found a love for acting on the stage in the 1960s. Around that same time, he began a career on screen with some small roles on television, but quickly landed his first film role in the drama Young and Willing. He continued to make appearances on TV throughout the 1960s before landing his first major role in A Man for All Seasons in 1966, which ended up winning Best Picture that year.

To try and sum up the career of John Hurt would be impossible, having over 200 credits to his name on film and television. But some of his more memorable roles include his supporting role as a Turkish prison inmate in Midnight Express in 1978, and just two years later he took the lead as the titular disfigured gentleman John Merrick in The Elephant Man in 1980. Both of those roles landed him Oscar nominations, while the former also earned him a Golden Globe win.

John Hurt may be best known for playing Kane in Alien, who met an unfortunate end in the famous scene where a xenomorph bursts through his chest (a role he would reprise to great comedic effect in Spaceballs). Hurt also memorably played wandmaker Garrick Ollivander in the Harry Potter franchise.

Other key film roles include V for Vendetta, Snowpiercer, History of the World: Part I, Hellboy, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Melancholia, and more recently Hercules and Jackie. Plus, Hurt was also the voice of Aragorn in the animated Lord of the Rings movie from 1978. Healso continued to start in television even after his film career took off, appearing on shows like Merlin, The Confession, Watership Down and even a single episode of Saturday Night Live back in 1997.

Hurt was acting right up until his death. There are three films that are completed and awaiting release (AKA Nadia, The Final Reel, That Good Night), two films in post-production (Damascus Cover, My Name is Lenny) and one that was filming (Darkest Hour). It’s not yet clear what Hurt’s final appearance on screen will be, but clearly we have a few more movies to enjoy the gravitas he brought to the big screen in every role he took, no matter how small.

Our thoughts go out to John Hurt’s family and friends during this difficult time. Rest in peace.

The post ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Alien’ Star John Hurt Has Died at 77 appeared first on /Film.


Celebrating the Life and Career of ‘The Elephant Man’ Actor, Sir John Hurt

Legendary BAFTA-winning actor Sir John Hurt passes away at the age of 77.

At the news of Hurt’s death, tributes poured in from around the world, including from collaborators such as Mel Brooks, producer of The Elephant Man, who wrote on Twitter that Hurt “carried that film into cinematic immortality. He will be sorely missed.” Elijah Wood, who starred with Hurt in 2008’s The Oxford Murders, tweeted: “Very sad to hear of John Hurt’s passing. It was such an honor to have watched you work, sir.”

Born in 1940, Hurt earned a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1960, and appeared in television and on the stage throughout the 1960s and into the 70s. He came to prominence on television with roles in the ground-breaking The Naked Civil Servant as well as I, Claudius, and broke into film with Midnight Express, playing a British prisoner in a role that would earn him his first Oscar nomination.

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Veteran Actor John Hurt Passes Away of Pancreatic Cancer at Age 77

John Hurt

English actor Sir John Hurt has passed away at age 77. The sad news was confirmed by his agent, via BBC. Hurt died of pancreatic cancer, after first being diagnosed in 2015. John Hurt appeared in over 120 different films across multiple decades, as well as numerous stage and television roles. He most recently appeared in the films Jackie, The Journey, Hercules and Snowpiercer. Hurt earned two Academy Award nominations years ago, for The Elephant Man in 1980, and Midnight Express in 1978. He won two BAFTA Awards for Acting, and was recognized for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2012. He was one of those talented actors who would always give a great performance no matter the role. It’s sad to lose another actor. ›››

Continue reading Veteran Actor John Hurt Passes Away of Pancreatic Cancer at Age 77


John Hurt, who played Ollivander in ‘Harry Potter’, dies at 77



Award-winning British actor and knight John Hurt died at 77 Friday, roughly a year and half after announcing he had pancreatic cancer, Mashable has confirmed. 

The actor of stage and screen had hundreds of credits dating back into the 1960s, but he was most known for his roles in Alien, 1984, Doctor Who and The Elephant Man. For a younger generation, he was known for playing the wandmaker Garrick Ollivander who appeared in three of the Harry Potter films.

1984, V/VENDETTA, MAN/ALL SEASONS, TINKER TAILOR, HELLBOY, KING RALPH… The films you need to see to make sense of today, John Hurt was in.

— Bilge Ebiri (@BilgeEbiri) January 28, 2017 Read more…

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RIP Sir John Hurt, Elephant Man and Alien Star Dead at 77

RIP Sir John Hurt, Elephant Man and Alien Star Dead at 77

RIP Sir John Hurt, Elephant Man and Alien star dead at 77

Acclaimed British actor Sir John Hurt has died at the age of 77. The actor often joked about his reputation of playing characters that died on screen, telling The Talks back in 2014:

“I think I’ve got the record…It got to a point where my children wouldn’t ask me if I died, but rather how do you die?”

Hurt had an extensive career in film and television including two Academy Award nominations for his roles as Max in Midnight Express and John Merrick in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man. He’s also known for playing Kane in Ridley Scott’s Alien (which he also reprised in Spaceballs), Jesus Christ in Mel Brooks’ History of the World, Part I, Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Mr. Ollivander the wand shop salesman in three of the Harry Potter films, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm in Hellboy and Hellboy II, Adam Sutler in V For Vendetta, Dr. Harold Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Control in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Gilliam in Snowpiercer. Hurt can be seen in theaters now in Jackie.

Fans will also recall his voice from the animated features Watership Down, The Lord of the Rings (where he voiced Aragorn), and Disney’s The Black Cauldron. He also had a long line of television appearances including the title host in Jim Henson’s The Storyteller and the role of The War Doctor in Doctor Who.

Hurt is survived by his wife Anwen Rees-Myers and two sons, Alexander Hurt and Nicholas Hurt.

(Photo credit: Lia Toby/WENN.com)

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