Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

(Except that it's a Discovery-ized version of the Enterprise....which sorta goes against the tie-in novel, right?  ireactions?)

How does the DISCOVERY-style Enterprise fit in with DESPERATE HOURS declaring that Constitution class starships have a different design style and uniforms? GO FUCK YOURSELF, that's how.

... I'm sorry. Slider_Quinn21 has jokingly needled me about how I take media tie-ins like novels, comics, video games and audioplays as canonical and invest emotionally in them and refuse to ever call them 'unofficial,' constantly asserting that this plothole or that unfinished arc is addressed in this comic and that novel. Unfortunately, when it comes to DESPERATE HOURS and DISCOVERY, I must concede defeat.

This is a difficult time for me as I must confess the unspeakable -- STAR TREK novels aren't canon. It was really hard to type that.

What happened here: David Mack was writing DESPERATE HOURS when Bryan Fuller was working on the show. Fuller suggested that Mack write a Spock/Burnham story as Fuller didn't want to do a crossover. As Mack was writing the novel, Fuller left and the costumes changed from the neo-Cage look to the more ENTERPRISE-styled uniforms.

Mack described the onscreen Enterprise exactly as it appeared in the 60s and point-blank had Spock declare that the Enterprise looks more advanced than the 'older' DISCOVERY ships. But now, Fuller's successors have chosen a route Fuller wasn't going to use; they want to do a crossover and DESPERATE HOURS no longer fits.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Which sucks, by the way.  I actually really like the idea of Starfleet "softening" their look as they move toward a more exploratory-based mission.

I like the show.  I really do.  In fact, if Discovery was a Orville-type show taking place out of continuity, I think I'd legitimately love it.  The problem is that the show wants me to believe that it's taking place during a period of Trek history that is VERY known to people.  And they keep showing us stuff that is unknown or doesn't fit or was needlessly changed.  We've had the "they should've set this in a different time period" conversation enough that we don't need to re-hash it.

But damn.  It's Trek but it's not.  It's good but it could be great.  It wants to belong but doesn't really.

The people in charge say it'll all make sense.  I don't really believe them, but I'm going to try not to care anymore.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I honestly don't mind. The DESPERATE HOURS novel still exists and is still a great read. It was a terrific volume for the time in which it was published, presenting a very amusing thought experiment by having the 1960s sets and costumes right alongside the 2017 sets and costumes and having the characters declare that the 1960s design is more advanced.

But it is equally valid to declare that the 23rd century through DISCOVERY is a visual re-interpretation in the way a SPIDER-MAN comic looked one way when Steve Ditko drew it in the 60s but looks another way when Steve McNiven draws it in the 21st century.

From a scripting standpoint, nothing's at odds with the original STAR TREK except for aspects that should be ignored anyway like "Turnabout Intruder" saying no woman has ever captained a starship. Gaffes like "Vulcan Hello" contradicting "Tholian Web" (in which Spock said there's no record of a mutiny aboard a starship) have been patched with Burnham's record being expunged. Spock has never been forthcoming about his family, not even acknowledging his parents when they were standing right in front of him.

It kind of reminds me of SPIDER-MAN and IRON MAN comics. In SPIDER-MAN comics, flashbacks almost always reprint panels from the 1960s comics even though they're completely at odds with the 21st century designs because the 1960s issues are so iconic. With IRON MAN, however, flashbacks tend to take place in the modern world with scenes always redrawn and updated because Iron Man wasn't terribly popular when he first began. DESPERATE HOURS took the SPIDER-MAN route, but the DISCOVERY finale took the IRON MAN path.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

From a scripting standpoint, nothing's at odds with the original STAR TREK except for aspects that should be ignored anyway like "Turnabout Intruder" saying no woman has ever captained a starship. Gaffes like "Vulcan Hello" contradicting "Tholian Web" (in which Spock said there's no record of a mutiny aboard a starship) have been patched with Burnham's record being expunged. Spock has never been forthcoming about his family, not even acknowledging his parents when they were standing right in front of him.

Well, the biggest thing to me is the Spore Drive.  There are a few ways they could've written it so that it would work, but they seem to be doubling down on it.  They're especially backed into a corner with the idea that the Spore Network essentially drives all life.  Therefore, since life exists in TNG/DS9/VOY, the Spore Network (hypothetically) must exist in some form.  And no one is using it for....reasons?

Maybe it's a little like Bruce Wayne's fusion reactor from the Dark Knight Rises....maybe Starfleet mothballs it for "reasons" in hopes that it can be used better in the future.  But....wouldn't Section 31 use it during the Dominion War?  Now that the Klingons seem to know about it (in the Discovery Era), wouldn't they want it (in the same way every nation on Earth wants the nuclear bomb even though many don't intend on ever using it)?  If Starfleet has that kind of technology and simply don't use it, aren't there hundreds of examples where such technology would've saved lives?

Not only that....even if there's a "we can't take advantage of living creatures ever again" kind of reason for shutting it down....are we to suppose that no other Alpha Quadrant species could've figured it out on their own?  The Borg don't even seem to have it, and they'd probably treat the Spore Network, in some ways, with the same reckless abandon that the Terrans used it.

The hologram technology doesn't bother me as much.  Maybe people just don't like it and that's why the holograms aren't big in the later shows.  We have video phones now, but no one likes to use them, opting for the "less advanced" audio-only phone calls.

But the Spore Drive really bothers me.  For some reason.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, they have nine seasons until the 60s show to explain how the spore network went away?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Ha, possibly. I just worry they've written themselves into a corner.  I'll look forward to seeing how they pull it off.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I haven't read all of the posts in this thread, because I haven't been watching Discovery. Now that the finale has been released, I've signed up for the week of free CBS All Access, and now I'm watching the show.

I probably won't comment on every episode, but I just watched the pilot, so I will comment on that. Once I'm done, I'll go back and read everything else here.

One episode in, I'm still not sure what I think. Visually, I'm not sure that I like the show. The lens flares and odd angles work outside the ship, but it is just distracting inside. It makes it hard to get a feel for the ship itself. In fact, there has been an overall lack of setting the atmosphere of the series so far, as we started out on an alien planet and then jumped right into tension and action.

Visually, the show hasn't felt like Star Trek yet. I don't like the Klingons at all. They can barely speak with their giant teeth (an issue for the TNG era Klingons as well, but their teeth were smaller). They are covered in so much makeup that they can't emote. And there are no visual cues to connect us to these aliens and make them register as Klingons. Even when the original Klingons were redesigned, certain elements of their style remained.

Trying to put aside the jarring visuals, I'm trying to decide if the story feels like Star Trek. I'm guessing that the show won't have many stand alone episodes, which is a shame. Star Trek was about exploring people and concepts, so we'll see if they still do that.

If the story wasn't about the Klingons, I'd probably say that it felt more like an interesting Trek story (though I'd have preferred more time spent on establishing the setting). I'm not sure that I like the main character, Michael. The way she pushes people out of the way comes across as arrogant and rude. I can't picture Riker shoving Data out of the way while rolling his eyes.
Are they trying to make her seem super badass, or is she supposed to be arrogant and too emotional? I guess time will tell.

So far... Meh. They've done nothing to make this feel like the Star Trek that I grew up with, and that means that they have to build a relationship with me as a viewer from scratch. Which means that they have to convince me to let go of what I liked about the other Treks. This wasn't necessary, so I wish them luck.

Why do they constantly feel a need to go back in the Trek timeline and mess with it, rather than move forward? Now we have yet another alternate universe to deal with.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I've seen five episodes so far...

I'm a bit torn about it, honestly. The show doesn't feel like it was made by people who love Star Trek. It feels like it was made by people who want to cash in on Star Trek, and who are so unfamiliar with the Trek fandom that they think the only way to do this is to go backwards, time and time again. It is a massive mistake. And if they took out those throwback elements, the show would be so much better. Change the Klingons to a new species. Change Sarek to a different Vulcan (I swear, it feels like Vulcan has a population of about 6, and they just keep popping up). Change Mudd to a different character. Then set the series after DS9, because it already feels post-DS9. After all that, the series would work so much better. Even the idea of a Starfleet that is torn between soldiers and scientists feels like something that would come after the Dominion war.

The setting still hasn't been fleshed out enough, which is weird for Star Trek. They could change ships in every episode and I wouldn't notice, or care if it blew up. And similarly, the characters haven't been developed very well. It's a sad day when I think that Mayweather was a more developed character than most of the new crew.

That said, I really only wish they'd ditch one of the crew members this time (the engineer. I just don't think he connects with this world, and he doesn't handle technobabble well), so that's probably an improvement.

Whereas TNG suffered from an unwillingness to have conflict among the crew, Discovery sometimes has very forced conflict.

I don't hate the show. I think it's better than Enterprise, and even Voyager in many ways, but I think that some flaws are just strangling this series right now. I wish the modern decision makers would respect the full history of Star Trek, because many of us grew up with the later shows, and that is what we are fans of.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

These new Klingons are just embarrassingly awful. The costumes are like bad alien Shakespearean crap. The makeup us ugly, bulky, and doesn't allow for performances. The dialogue sounds super processed.

I'm up to episodes where they are supposed to be deceitful and manipulative, and dangerous... And there's nothing there. Badly done CG villains would be preferable to this, because I'm getting nothing from them at all, except a general sense of annoyance. And this is not just me wishing they'd stayed true to the normal design (which they should have). This is all about the complete failure of these characters on every level. And being forced to read subtitles while watching characters who can't emote and have no expression in their voices just makes it worse.

Every single decision here was wrong.

Don't get me wrong, the show itself isn't a total failure. But some very basic things are unforgivably bad. I don't get how professionals allowed this to happen.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Finished.

Ultimately, the series seemed... careless. Like the people making it didn't care about Star Trek and its history, and they also didn't particularly care about telling the stories that they put out there.

Before the show came out, people related to the show spoke about how they drew inspiration from our world and our politics, and played up the idea of these characters representing Trump supporters, or those characters representing North Korea. And that was bullshit. The writers didn't put enough thought into the motivations or the politics within the show for me to find any sort of meaning in it. Even when they put in the "Make the empire glorious again" line in the mirror universe, I couldn't be bothered to care about yet another Trump jab by people who love them some Nazi solutes (which I imagine is just part of the union agreements in Hollywood at this point).

When they did the repeating day episode, it was halfhearted. Like they knew that the audience got which trope they were going for, so they didn't have to put much thought into it. Same with most of the other storylines. They give us a quick reference to which story they're playing with, and then fill out the hour without really exploring the stories very deeply. A Klingon grafted into a human body... okay. Sure. I'll go with that... if they actually bother to do something with that story. But they didn't. They wanted us to feel the emotional reaction, but they never invested in the story or character itself. I still don't even know what the hell they were talking about. The "Klingons" opened people up, crushed their bones, chopped up their insides, and... what the hell does this mean?! The guy passed a physical, so he obviously doesn't have an actual Klingon living inside of him.
And it doesn't matter, because that story ultimately went nowhere. He threw a couple of punches, spoke some synthetic Klingon words, and that was pretty much it. That was the grand plan.
Oh... then he ran off with the woman who brutally raped him in ways that we can't even imagine (and apparently the writers can't either). Because that's totally reasonable.

And right around the time that we discovered that he was a Klingon mole type sleeper agent type thing, we also learned that Lorka was a mole for a totally different cause. So now this is like 24, and everyone is a damn mole. And the one human male who wasn't written off of the show is the only one who I actually wanted written off of the show!

The show has a lot of interesting characters. The problem is, they have no interest in exploring them. They do nothing to balance big action stories with personal stories in the way that Trek shows normally do. So now we have a show that is set during a war, which they don't bother to explore. With technology that is ultimately a dead end, story-wise. And characters who they don't bother to explore (aside from Burnham, though I still don't get why everyone blames her for the war. She committed mutiny, but her actions didn't cause the war).

Going forward, I'd love to see more of Keyla Detmer. They could have explored her reaction to Burnham being there a bit more, as someone who was severely injured during a battle in which Burnham betrayed her people and lied to them. Yet, they didn't do that. They showed an odd moment where Detmer was happy to see (the fake) Captain Georgiou return, giving us the impression that she didn't know it was a fake. Yet there was no payoff to that beat.


Airiam is another interesting character, despite the fact that she looks a lot like Nebula, from Guardians of the Galaxy. I'd like to see more of her too.

Is it weird that a lot of the characters that I'm the most interested in are just recurring background characters?


The mirror Georgiou is pretty much just mirror Kira. I wonder if the writers genuinely think that they're exploring new ideas here, or if they just think that we won't remember the 500 hours of TV that came before this...?

The show has some potential. Most of the cast is fine (when they're not killed off or sent to live with their rapists), but I just don't feel like the people writing the show or making the design decisions actually care about it. It's like the show is being produced as a way to hold onto a licence, but nobody actually had an idea for it. But then again, some of the bad decisions seem deliberate. They didn't accidentally recreate the entire Klingon look and culture. They chose to take one of the most developed, fleshed-out species in Star Trek canon, throw them in a blender, and then dress the resulting mess in the Pennywise costume from the new It movie.

I'm trying to make sense of what was put on screen, and I just don't get what the point was. I had the song "Going Through the Motions" from the Buffy musical episode floating through my head through a lot of it.


I don't know. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I think it's a worthwhile series, but I'm pretty sure that it's not registering as "Star Trek" in my brain. It's probably not something I'd gather the family for, like when I watched TNG as a kid.


Okay, I'm going to to back and read through the rest of this thread when I get a chance. smile

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah, you're hitting a lot of the nails on the head that we all hit.

- It'd be better if it took place in the future - not the Kirk era
- The Klingons should've been a new species
- It doesn't "feel" like Trek.

Did you watch the Orville?  It was more "Trek" than this was, although both took stabs at making Trek more honest and realistic (Orville was lighter and more sophomoric, this was more violent and sexual)

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah, The Orville was a fun show. I'm not sure how long it will remain entertaining, since it's a very particular type of fun and that could get old, but so far it's been interesting. They've actually done some thoughtful stories too, which is nice.

One more thing that I don't get about Discovery is the need to have one central character. Most Trek shows are ensembles, where different episodes could explore different characters. This was definitely Burnham's show, and the world kinda revolved around her. We're going into season 2 without a captain or doctor, and I'm not even sure that we've seen main engineering. Who is in charge there, because whats-his-name seemed pretty focused on the spore drive, even when it wasn't working.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, was Trek really an ensemble?  We had episodes for Troi or Kim or whatever, but the shows almost always focused on the captain and one or two crew members.

Alan Sepinwall speculated that maybe we'll get a big name (if Jason Issacs and Michelle Yeoh count as big names) captain for each season.  Not necessarily meaning that the captains will end up dead - maybe the ship changes continue - we've never followed one crewmember on multiple ships before - that could be interesting, actually.

But there's actually a decently fresh slate, and it all sorta ties into the idea that this was supposed to be an anthology show.  It'd actually be nice if the ship *wasn't* called the Discovery so it could actually just be about....discovery.  I think they're pretty committed at this point, but I'd be pretty interested in this cast with a new premise. 

I still sorta wish the Discovery had flung itself 400 years in the future.  Maybe they'd trick Starfleet and the rest of the Alpha Quadrant into thinking the spore drive was too dangerous, and that's why no one uses it.  Then they arrive safely in the future, and it's fair game again.  The crew would both be obsolete (a little like Scotty in Relics) and cutting edge at the same time.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Okay, I've read the conversation! Most of the stuff, I don't need to comment on. So, here's what I do want to respond to:

People keep trying to figure out how to reconcile Star Trek with the fact that we already have a lot of this technology. I don't think it's necessary, if they just kept moving forward. It's not the history of *our* universe, it's the history of the Star Trek universe, which is a world where Eugenics Wars and WWIII happened, and where San Francisco became a sancua--wait, that happened.

I don't think many people think that Star Trek is a historical document. While it might be fun to figure out why the "future" in the 1960's series is behind where we are today, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that the Star Trek universe was the story of that world, through different generations, always moving forward. Their past looks like our past. Their future looks like what we imagine our future will look like. By going back in time and pulling at all of those threads and altering the past of that story, they're destroying the foundation of something huge and beloved. And they do it without any care or a second thought.

Furthermore, by throwing this whole spore drive idea out there, they're essentially invalidating the central plots of both Star Trek DS9 and Star Trek Voyager. And why? Where did that story go? What ultimate purpose did it serve? It was just a Dark Matter rehash, but not handled as well.


I'm not letting Bryan Fuller off the hook so easily. He was involved with redesigning the Klingons, and no decision in that process was the right decision.


I do think that Star Trek is usually an ensemble (aside from TOS). Even if we view Picard, Janeway and Archer as the leads of their shows, there was usually a b-plot that explored the other characters. Or there would be an a-plot that involved them in trouble, but had a b-plot where the captain got to be human for a while. DS9 was definitely an ensemble. Discovery only used the supporting characters as a way to move Michael forward, and never really cared to explore them.

I did think about them possibly jumping into the future too, and either having to adapt, or find their way home. Or maybe explore the Star Trek multiverse, which would explain all of the different styles somewhat. But they didn't do that. Oh well.

It was fun seeing Clint Howard show up though. smile

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

To me, it's weird.  I feel like I would like Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville more if they were called "Discovery" and "Star Trek: Orville".  I think MacFarlane could've reigned in some of the more absurdist comedy but presented a fun sci-fi show that takes itself less seriously than shows in the past.

Meanwhile, Fuller could've had fun with his own mythology.  The Klingons and Vulcans could've appeared in another form with another name, and the show would've felt freer without stepping on the toes of previous continuity.

I like them both as is, but I feel like they're shows that are playing in the wrong sandbox.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Interesting. This video suggests the changes that we may see for season 2. But how many of these solutions will only deepen the problems?

https://youtu.be/4n5TlyBl5Cw

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

This video claims a high level of behind the scenes information that is based largely on empty supposition blanketed liberally in "allegedly"s and "we have received word that"s. God help us if the future of sci-fi news is portentous voiceovers declaring little or nothing over episode footage.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

True. But then again, most news programs today suffer from the same problems. I think this particular battle is already lost.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

http://www.superherohype.com/news/41775 … x-kurtzman

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Looks like some bottle episodes in the future!   Don’t look out the window this week; we can’t even afford the black curtain and Christmas lights!

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

If there were ever a show that was tailor made for bottle episodes, it was STAR TREK. I mean, the standing sets are built, they have to rent them regardless and the show is set on that ship. TREK has always been more about conversations than whizbang action; even the rebootquels courting Americans wanting to see things explode were largely oriented towards characters cracking wise and making jokes.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Honestly, one of my favorite episodes of Discovery season one was the Harry Mudd episode where he’s trying to steal the ship.  Unless I remember incorrectly, that was a total bottle episode.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I really don't see a scenario where the show can be salvaged, so I'm not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, it's great news that people responsible for season 1 are gone. On the other hand, the foundation is rotten. I thought Berman drove Star Trek into the ground, but the modern incarnations have been made with so little respect or love for the Star Trek universe that it's almost painful to watch.

The movies are wacky fun and are entertaining enough, but they still don't register as Star Trek in my head.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

TemporalFlux wrote:

Honestly, one of my favorite episodes of Discovery season one was the Harry Mudd episode where he’s trying to steal the ship.  Unless I remember incorrectly, that was a total bottle episode.

You remember correctly. Don't you always? Isn't that your gimmick?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

http://www.superherohype.com/news/41791 … s-with-cbs

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Patrick Stewart is getting a bit long in the tooth, but could still be great.   I would just like to see something move the overall narrative forward instead of more prequels.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I agree 150%.  Let's do what TNG did and move the story a hundred years in the future.  Technology can be better, and we can see how TNG/DS9/VOY changed the galaxy.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

By the time TNG came along, some of TOS technology already was already becoming a reality and seemed dated for a show set so far in the future. People shrugged it off because TOS was an old show, and TNG presented a more modern look at what the "future" looked like.

Now, TNG-era technology is a reality. I'm using it to type this comment right now. Yet Star Trek keeps going back to pre-TOS, trying to make that era fit into our current vision of the future, and it doesn't work. It destroys the universe created for the franchise. It makes it feel weird to watch the new shows. It doesn't play along with the rules that we all agreed to play by, with a wink and a shrug, back in the 80's.

They're creating a new franchise, calling it Star Trek, and demanding that we ignore the fact that it's not Star Trek.


So yeah, I agree. That was me saying that I agree in as few words as I can possibly muster while avoiding work.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Back in 2011, I went to a convention where most of the TNG cast was there.  During the big panel, Michael Dorn (Worf) began talking about Trek technology.  Dorn mentioned how one day, not long before that panel, he was at his home reading something on his iPad, and he had a sudden realization.  He was now holding in his hand a real version of the fake pads they used to pass around on the Enterprise.  The future happened.

Trek just used to be more thoughtful about things; it gave people something to aspire to (which directly or indirectly led to innovation in the real world).  I think that’s one of the big things missing.  It takes visionaries to pull that off, though; and I don’t think we’ve had many of those connected with Trek in a long time.  Creators have been following technology instead of blazing ahead of it.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Completely agree about the discussion about what Trek used to represent.

This is really surprising. I wonder what form this would take? Would he command a new ship and crew?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

One of the problems with Trek is that they've abandoned good science fiction in favor of bad dramatic fiction.  I would concur with TF that it's time to move forward, in terms of continuity.  I love Patrick, but idk, inevitably would they bring other TNG actors along, the ones who so embarrassingly phoned in the last couple movies?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Finally binged Discovery.  Terrific show, really impressed with how they worked the story and whatnot.  My lone complaint are the Klingons.  They look and sound horrendous.  Terrible choice to alter them so much, yet leave pretty much every other race the same.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/star-t … 1202895410

At least they're finally moving forward again. However, Discovery has been a huge disappointment and I'm not sure that these people know how to tell a thoughtful story.


I want it to be good though. However, the rest of the cast probably won't appear. How would they handle Worf after the mess they've made out of the Klingons?

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

One has to imagine this project likely takes Picard off the Enterprise, and into some other role. Most of the other TNG actors have aged much worse, so I wouldn't expect much participation from them. There's also an animated series, an Academy series, maybe something Khan-related (Nicholas Meyer) possibly in the works. I think if they kept each to limited series, that could work. That said, I'll see how bad they make Discovery by focusing on Spock and Sarek in Season 2.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Glad to see Trek lore moving forward again, but I really wonder what this Picard series could even be about.  Maybe in retirement he focuses on archeology and finds something?  Kind of like his mentor did in that episode?  Of course, if they go with the tie-in comic to the Abrams reboot, then Picard is now the earth ambassador to Vulcan (probably a lingerng aspect of the Sarek meld leading him there).

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I was always sorta interested in human culture for people out of Starfleet.  Episodes about civilians were always interesting to me.  I'd be interested in Star Trek series set entirely on Earth.  Like TF said, maybe something with archaeology?  Like a future Indiana Jones?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I picture it as the winding down of someone who led this amazing, action-packed sort of life. I could see Picard coming closer to the end of his life, with no ship and all of his friends still out there doing what they do. Maybe Q comes to visit Picard and really sees the sadness and beauty of the human experience as he watches his closest friend move toward death.

But that sounds more like a two man play than it does a Star Trek series, so it probably isn't that.


New pitch: Picard and Q start a YouTube channel where they review movies.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Ha, someone on Twitter referenced Picard sitting at home watching Space Fox News big_smile

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

https://www.mediaplaynews.com/cbs-relea … n-blu-ray/

This pisses me off.  I mean, I liked both of those shows, but they can't spend the $ to upgrade Star Trek DS9 or Voyager?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I think that DS9 and Voyager would be better long term investments for them, since they have a fan base that is still strong. But they'd probably require more work than Charmed or McGyver because of the visuals.

HD or no HD, DS9 still holds up pretty well. Their space battles were impressive. I'm watching B5 for the first time now, and it is visually very dated.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

It’s a shame Babylon 5 will never be remastered or given a blu-ray.  Warner threw away all of the visual effects files, so there’s nothing to work with.  They would have to start completely from scratch like they were making the episode for the first time, and the cost is well beyond too much.

I don’t think we’ll ever see DS9 either.  Paramount can’t even get a channel like BBC America to put DS9 on their schedule; and Alexander Siddig (Doctor Bashir) is British!  So I’m sure Paramount is looking at that and thinking a blu-ray wouldn’t be worth it.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Doesn't H&I (Heroes and Icons) show DS9 reruns?  I thought that's where I saw all six non-Discovery shows airing on certain nights.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah, all of the Trek shows air reruns around me. I don't usually watch them (because I stream them when I want to watch), but they are still making Paramount some amount of money.

I think DS9 has probably built more of a fanbase since it aired than B5 has. Outside of geeky circles (and older ones at that), I don't really hear much about B5. However, I still see DS9 talked about and it seems like it's aged pretty well. People usually talk about it as the superior Trek, which is fun for all of us who remember DS9 as the forgotten Trek series that nobody cared about back in the day. smile

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, it's the show that's aged the best because it's the most like TV is now.  It was easily the most serialized, and it had the most growth for most of it's major characters.  It took the material seriously, not making humans and Starfleet infallible.

At the same time, I watch DS9 reruns less than the other shows for that same reason.  I can watch a random episode of TNG or Voyager and just sorta enjoy the random plot I'm seeing.  When I watch DS9, I usually spend some mental energy trying to remember exactly what was happening at the time, where they were in the whole Dominion War, who's betrayed who, etc.  There are obviously examples of non-serialized episodes, but it's much easier to just pop on a rerun of the other shows.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

It's unlikely DS9 and VOY will ever get HD upgrades. TOS and TNG were remastered because, at the time, there was a market for DVD and blu-ray with the remasters aimed at this home video market. But with the streaming, the days of people buying physical media to watch TV and films are gone. The TOS sets sold well; the TNG sets came out during the rise of streaming and didn't sell in sufficient numbers to justify the expense of the upgrade, hence DS9 and VOY remaining in SD.

http://www.treknews.net/2017/02/02/why- … lu-ray-hd/

I dunno. I think it's charming to watch 480p, 4:3 video. I enjoy it. TOS suffers from even standard definition because Shatner's stuntman is too obvious; it was filmed to be seen on a flickering, often black and white cathode ray tube.

Informant wrote:

By the time TNG came along, some of TOS technology already was already becoming a reality and seemed dated for a show set so far in the future. People shrugged it off because TOS was an old show, and TNG presented a more modern look at what the "future" looked like. Now, TNG-era technology is a reality. I'm using it to type this comment right now.

TemporalFlux wrote:

Back in 2011, I went to a convention where most of the TNG cast was there.  During the big panel, Michael Dorn (Worf) began talking about Trek technology.  Dorn mentioned how one day, not long before that panel, he was at his home reading something on his iPad, and he had a sudden realization.  He was now holding in his hand a real version of the fake pads they used to pass around on the Enterprise.  The future happened.

Trek just used to be more thoughtful about things; it gave people something to aspire to (which directly or indirectly led to innovation in the real world).  I think that’s one of the big things missing.  It takes visionaries to pull that off, though; and I don’t think we’ve had many of those connected with Trek in a long time.  Creators have been following technology instead of blazing ahead of it.

I think Informant and TF have really nailed the problem with modern TREK. THE NEXT GENERATION lacked the classic STAR TREK's conflict, drama, creativity, passion or excitement. But it presented a fascinating future world that the viewer longed to live in; a world of holodecks, artificial intelligences, androids, replicators, tablet computers, mobile communications.

As a child, I loved exploring some facet of the Enterprise-D for an hour at a time -- but now we mostly live in that world and STAR TREK writers are unable imagine our technological future. (Can anyone? I am not a world-builder.)

Informant wrote:

I could see Picard coming closer to the end of his life, with no ship and all of his friends still out there doing what they do. Maybe Q comes to visit Picard and really sees the sadness and beauty of the human experience as he watches his closest friend move toward death. But that sounds more like a two man play than it does a Star Trek series, so it probably isn't that. New pitch: Picard and Q start a YouTube channel where they review movies.

You might enjoy the SPOCK VS. Q audioplays as a two-man play. But going back to the question of the future: can Patrick Stewart's return move TREK forward, or is it staying on the treadmill? And it's great for Patrick Stewart to return to STAR TREK, but there have actually been three Picards. Which one will return?

The STAR TREK was not the aspirational utopia some remember. It was, however, a charismatic, funny adventure series with *characters* who were aspirational icons. After it went into reruns, fans developed this pseudo-religion around Spock's values of logic, compassion and consideration for all life that Gene Roddenberry bought into.

With THE NEXT GENERATION, Roddenberry demanded that every writer script every character and all Starfleet and the entire Federation as reflecting Spock's values -- when the original series had always presented Spock as merely one person. Everyone on TNG was to be a slightly more human Spock; Picard was the head Spock and written as strict, humourless, dour and a bit passive.

Stewart played against that, softening Picard's attitude, and by the third season, the writers had found ways to create drama that still respected Roddenberry's rules. And they wrote Picard more in terms of Stewart's performance, presenting Picard's emphasis on conference and delegating as heroic and he became unique in a landscape of 90s action heroes. And they made the Enterprise-D a compelling wonderland so full of intrigue and curiosity that it could bypass the muted conflicts.

The TNG movies took Picard in a strangely conventional direction: he was wrestling with Malcolm McDowell on bridges, getting in gunfights with Borg, shooting away at drones and racing all-terrain vehicles. The TNG movies took the moral, heroic philosopher and tactician of TNG and made him like any other action hero.

If Picard is to return, I think the writers should capitalize on what makes Stewart playing Picard so interesting: he is a peacemaker. Kirk tricks bad guys into blowing themselves up, Picard tricks bad guys into coming over for coffee and realizing nobody has to be the bad guy. That's a character worth bringing back.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

The good news is that I don't think that the action hero version of Picard is really an option at this point. Patrick Stewart is 78 years old now. Honestly, we'll be lucky if the Picard project ever makes it to screen.

I didn't really have a problem with Picard in the movies (not counting Nemesis, because I never count Nemesis). In Generations, they gave Picard a pretty compelling character arc, coming to terms with the fact that his family line (which he'd assumed would carry on through his brother's family) would come to an end with him. He's older and isn't likely to have a family of his own, and the reality of time and legacy really hit him. That's complimented by the nexus story, in which time and space mean nothing, but ultimately lose their value.

I think I like Generations more than most people do.


Yeah, First Contact was Die Hard in space. Picard was presented as an action hero, unlike we'd really seen him before (though to be fair, we saw some toned down TV-budget versions of this sort of thing in the past). However, I think it still managed to capture the PTSD element, and how Picard still has to deal with the fact that he was violated in a very brutal way. We also got some lighter elements mixed in there, with the other characters from the series.

Insurrection was probably the most like the TNG series out of all of the movies. It's a little funny that so many people dislike the movie. It could have provided Picard with the chance to follow up on his arc from Generations. If he'd settled down with Anij, he could have had the future that seemed so beyond his grasp in Generations. It would have proven that whatever you believe the future is, it isn't.

But Nemesis ruined that. Nemesis ruined EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111


Oh well. I guess we'll see how this all turns out. I wonder if the other TNG cast members are upset about him being invited back without them.

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247 (edited by Grizzlor 2018-08-09 10:34:17)

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Info, but they remastered MacGyver!  MacGyyyyyyyyyyverrrrrrrrrrrr.  I mean, come on.  It's very frustrating.  Anyway, yes, Heroes and Icons, which is an over the air subchannel airs all the old Trek series along with Hercules and Xena.  It's like literally (for me) the WPIX NY 1990s rerun network, ha ha ha.  The quality though is terrible, looks like crap.

As for Picard, they haven't even written scripts yet so I can't see this thing coming on air for at least a year or so.  If they do it as 20 years hence, as Patrick remarked, well, 20 years is a long time.  In fact, the TNG itself from premiere to Nemesis was just 15 years.  Space is big, and you can easily see how Picard's life could have shifted away from his old crew.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Grizzlor wrote:

Info, but they remastered MacGyver!  MacGyyyyyyyyyyverrrrrrrrrrrr.

I've only ever been able to struggle through the first episode of MACGYVER, but it was shot on film and while it was edited on video, nothing I saw in that pilot indicated there would be any kind of complex optical effects in this show. It'd be primarily practical. An HD version could be made by (a) converting master tapes to digital and upscaling or (b) reassembling the episodes from the original film elements to match the final masters.

The first option wouldn't be true high definition, but it could take advantage of high capacity blu-ray format making it unnecessary to compress the episodes to low bit-rates. SLIDERS suffers terribly from the disc compression in its DVD sets, but the Pilot was, for whatever reason, not subject to this and it looks fine when upscaled to HD whereas the other episodes don't. I suspect that a low-budget MACGYVER blu-ray release will simply be using blu-ray to avoid overcompressing an upscaled HD file.

But even if MACGYVER went with the second option -- reassembly with the original film -- it is unlikely that MACGYVER needs to have all the model shots and background composites and post-filming effects to be rebuilt and re-edited into the HD version because MACGYVER was not a space opera and wouldn't have any such effects.

In contrast, DS9 and VOY were converted to a low-resolution SD format before editing. This way, the visual effects would only need to be produced in low-resolution SD format before editing them into the episodes. The finished episodes exist only as low-res masters and cannot be rescanned into HD; the detail isn't there. TNG was rebuilt and all the effects remade for its blu-ray release and its sales did not recoup the expense of the rebuild.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Earlier in this thread, somebody shared a video from the Midnight's Edge YouTube that supposedly had news about how Season 2 of DISCOVERY would go forward. This video consisted of a robotic voiceover offering empty, vague conjecture based on personal dislike of DISCOVERY while making even vaguer claims of having inside knowledge. Midnight's Edge has since released a new and even more ridiculous video claiming that the Picard series is going to destroy the original STAR TREK timeline and replace it with the Kelvin movie timeline so that Viacom (which owns the film rights) can receive all future STAR TREK profits as the Kelvin timeline is under the movie license while CBS (which owns the TV rights) can be cast aside.

This is so fundamentally incoherent and willfully ignorant of how the STAR TREK rights are held or how licensing rights even work. CBS owns the STAR TREK intellectual property and TV rights, Viacom owns the film rights to CBS' IP. DISCOVERY and the Picard series are being produced by CBS -- why would CBS seek to sabotage *themselves* to benefit Viacom? Furthermore, the Midnight's Edge video claims DISCOVERY is going to reveal itself to be in the Kelvin movie timeline along with the Picard series so that Viacom can claim all the profits. Even if this happened narratively within the TV shows, it would not suddenly redistribute all profits from CBS to reflow into Viacom because a CBS TV show would still be owned by CBS regardless of whatever timeline the content occupies.

The CBS TV department could make a Kelvin timeline TV show if they wanted to; Viacom could make prime timeline films if they wished and revealing one timeline or the other within the scripts would not force one to give up their earnings to the other. CBS and Viacom have full access to the STAR TREK intellectual property; there were some bizarre and inaccurate stories claiming DISCOVERY didn't have the rights for using the Enterprise's original design -- that's nonsense and so is Midnight's Edge.

Midnight's Edge is not a legitimate news source, simply a YouTube editorial account that refers to unidentified and likely non-existent 'sources' in order to bolster what is nothing more than personal opinion matched with uninformed theorizing.

No one should be misrepresenting grossly misinformed fan theory as news.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

https://www.superherohype.com/tv/427161 … rek-series

Discovery is....fine.  Michelle Yeoh and her character are fairly interesting.  But, to me, Discovery's best asset is it's ability to bring me a spinoff that takes place after Voyager.  If all we're going to get are more pre-TOS stuff, it's going to get old quick.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

https://comicbook.com/startrek/2019/01/ … -mistakes/


My... Brain... Exploded...

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Were there really people that couldn't tell the difference between DS9 and Voyager?

I do agree that if they're going to have different shows on at the same time, they should be covering something unique or different.  But I felt like that's essentially what DS9 and VOY were doing?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

The thing is, nobody who ever watched those two shows ever thought that they were similar. It was never a conversation. We'd talk about over-saturation because Voyager turned out to be similar to TNG, and Enterprise wasn't too far off. But to specifically reference DS9 and Voyager in that comment just highlights the fact that these people don't know Star Trek. They don't know the fandom. They don't know the history. And most importantly, they don't care.

New Trek isn't meant for Trek fans. I don't quite know who they plan to market it toward, but it isn't us. And we shouldn't consume their crappy products just because they highjacked the name.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I think Kurtzman is right. I agree that from a writing standpoint, DS9 and VOYAGER were *about* different things. But in terms of scripting, both shows featured characters speaking in extremely formal, structured, corporate vocabularies with a very uniform approach to conversation. Both shows featured interstellar combat with the same style of steady, deliberate model work, people standing on the bridge reporting on what’s happening outside with and with slight forays into CGI. Both shows featured gunfights with a very similar fight choreography of people moving walking slowly between action sequences and holding still to fire phasers and then walking slowly to the next point of cover. For the longest time, both shows had most the cast wearing the same style uniforms.

Given that VOYAGER was set so distantly from DS9 and featured a ragtag crew of Marquis and Starfleet who would likely never see home again, VOYAGER should have been much more informal and more like FIREFLY or BATTLESTAR GALACTICA than DS9. Which is probably why Ronald D. Moore quit VOYAGER to make BSG.

Both shows were spinning out of THE NEXT GENERATION and extending the visual aesthetic of their parent show. Whatever DISCOVERY’s faults, it isn’t scripted, shot, lit, edited or designed to look like STAR TREK (2009). And Kurtzman is a fan; nobody obsessively reads STAR TREK novels and provides the plot for the COUNTDOWN comic to resurrect Data in B4’s body without being a fan. He’s just been, I think, quoted without the nuance needed to deliver his point.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

A lot of those similarities were just the way TV was done back then. Firefly was the show that really changed the way CG space battles were done, with the shaky camera losing focus. This was carried over into BSG because they liked how it looked on Firefly, and it's gone everywhere since then. Still, DS9 had some pretty impressive battle scenes, with a more movement and energy than Voyager (the Defiant was a peppy little ship).

But that's getting off track.

In some ways, Voyager and DS9 were similar, but I don't believe that you'd ever turn on Voyager and confuse it for a DS9 episode. The set designs were different styles. The lighting was usually moodier on DS9. The writing was a bit more developed ad less wooden. As you get into the meat of the actual series, the differences become even more stark. Themes were much darker and nuanced on DS9. Characters were more fully realized.

I was a Star Trek fan, talking to a lot of Star Trek fans online when those shows were on the air. And while there was talk of fatigue at times, DS9 was rarely a part of that conversation. It was more centered on Voyager, and later Enterprise, both of which used the TNG formula, but had weaker execution. It just seemed like the people making the shows were out of steam.

Meanwhile, DS9 was the bastard stepchild of the Star Trek franchise. It usually felt like the studio and Rick Berman didn't even remember that the series existed. It lived in its own little world, doing its own little thing, which felt almost as though it didn't even belong in the Star Trek universe anymore because it was such a different series. Those differences turned off some viewers, and appealed to others.

DS9 was an entirely different animal, with drawn-out story arcs and deep character development. To say that it and Voyager were in any way interchangeable is a joke.


I didn't read the Countdown series. How did it display Kurtzman's fandom? Because I have never seen it on screen. Data using B4's body to come back was pretty much implied at the end of Nemesis, when B4 starts to sing the song that Data had been singing earlier.


And I think we all know that *true* Star Trek fan would ignore Nemesis entirely. smile
(yes, I'm letting my geek side show too much. I will try to pull it back a little)

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Informant wrote:

(yes, I'm letting my geek side show too much. I will try to pull it back a little)

You're posting on a bulletin board frequented by, at most, a dozen people, that's dedicated to a television show that's been off the air for almost 20 years. Let your geek flag fly, son.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Informant wrote:

I didn't read the Countdown series. How did it display Kurtzman's fandom? Because I have never seen it on screen. Data using B4's body to come back was pretty much implied at the end of Nemesis, when B4 starts to sing the song that Data had been singing earlier.

The COUNTDOWN comic resulted from fans asking Kurtzman how the TNG cast would factor into STAR TREK (2009); Kurtzman's response was to produce the COUNTDOWN comic in which Picard, Data, Spock and LaForge try to save Romulus -- and even as I type this, I realize that it doesn't matter because ultimately, you don't think Kurtzman is a fan and I respect that. I just think that a guy who passed out photocopied pages of Diane Duane's SPOCK's WORLD novel to Zachary Quinto and Ben Cross on the set of STAR TREK (2009) is clearly a fan of something.

Perhaps Kurtzman is just not a fan by Informant's standards. Kurtzman is more a fan of THE ORIGINAL SERIES and the first six movies than anything else.

I think that Kurtzman, as a TV producer, has a view of what is meaningful difference and diversity and DS9 and VOYAGER are not it. In the podcast, Kurtzman emphasizes that DS9 and VOY were "very different," so I'm thinking that from a marketing standpoint, both DS9 and VOY indicated that STAR TREK was a show about a crew in space. In contrast, Kurtzman's LOWER DECKS series is going to be an animated sitcom that's more BROOKLYN NINE NINE than DISCOVERY.

If the new Picard series has even a slight resemblance to TNG, it'll be nothing like DISCOVERY. Under Kurtzman, TNG-2.0 is (possibly) going to be about a retired old man trying to gracefully accept that he's been unretired and that we need him back. (Stewart reportedly reviewed Kurtzman's story ideas and told him, "I love it all. We will do none of this.") DSC2 is going to be a post-war space adventure.

Kurtzman talks a bit in the podcast about how he started working on DISCOVERY after directing the train crash that was THE MUMMY. Humiliated and depressed, he accepted a role as DISCOVERY producer. However, he feared his black mood infecting the production and benched himself from writing and directing. He restricted himself to working on post production. From the edit bay, he watched Burnham gradually recovering from her depression and felt hope for himself and watching the show was helping him recover.

In Season 2, he took a small step out of the edit bay, directing the Season 2 premiere -- shortly after which CBC fired Aaron Harberts and Gretchen Berg for abusive behaviour in the writers' room. Kurtzman realized he had been so unhappy during Season 1 that he'd failed to notice how equally unhappy his writers were. He took point on DISCOVERY as showrunner and later called Patrick Stewart's agent about a new NEXT GENERATION show. I don't think he loves STAR TREK the way Informant does, but I think it's safe to say that across six TV shows and 13 films, there is no one way to love TREK.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

No, I'm not a normal Trekkie. I enjoy a lot of Star Trek, but consider DS9 to be the only truly great series of the bunch. This has always made me an outsider amongst Trek fans, so I'm used to it.

The thing is, I understand the fandom and I know that so many of the decisions that have been made since Trek was relaunched are poison to the franchise. Recasting legendary characters. Constantly moving backwards and lingering on what was, instead of what could be. At the core of these productions is a flaw, made by people who never walked amongst Star Trek fans. I was curious to see if I was mistaken about Kurtzman, because maybe he himself just has a particular taste in Trek and chose that direction. I don't understand these decisions, not just as a fan, but as someone who knows how these fandoms work. The same issues are popping up in Star Wars, and I'm not a fan of Star Wars, but I recognize the very clear, basic flaws in the philosophy of the SW machine right now.

Imagine Quinn Mallory rebooted as a dumb jock who stumbles across a timer that was dropped by some random slider. His blond, super sexy friend with benefits, Wade. His drunk stepfather, Max. And... Let's just replace Remmy with Donald Trump. Meet your new Sliders, who travel through time, messing up history.

Clearly, there are fundamental problems with this proposal, and any Sliders fan would be able to recognize them.


On a different note, have you been following the lawsuit against STD, by a game designer who claims that they ripped off his story? I haven't fully read up on it, but what I have seen looks compelling.

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Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, Kurtzman was the showrunner with JJ Abrams and Roberto Orci for Season 1 of FRINGE (before they ceded it to Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner for the rest of the series). Kurtzman wrote Season 1, Episode 19 which had an exchange in which Olivia and Peter encounter a man who claims to have information about a process of genetic alteration:

OLIVIA: "What process?"
GRAYSON: "To create super soldiers."
OLIVIA: "Super-soldiers."
GRAYSON: "Yes. Like Khan Noonian Singh. To defend us in the coming war."
OLIVIA: "What war?"
PETER: "I'm sorry. Khan?"
GRAYSON: "Yes."
PETER: "As in THE WRATH OF... ?"
GRAYSON: "Yes."
PETER: "Let me guess. This war, it's against... "
GRAYSON: "The Romulans. Renegade Romulans from the future, here to change the timeline. The sworn enemy of the Federation.
PETER: "The Federation. That would be the United Federation of Planets."
GRAYSON: "Yes."
PETER: "Hmm. And you know this because?"
GRAYSON: "I am the son of Sarek."
PETER: "Which makes you Spock."
GRAYSON: "Yes."
PETER: "Well, Mr. Spock, thank you for your time. We'll let you get back to the bridge now."
GRAYSON: "Live long and prosper."

The thing about STAR TREK in its modern incarnations is that Alex Kurtzman didn't make the decisions with which you take issue. STAR TREK (2009) going back to Kirk, Spock and McCoy recast and redefined was the studio's decision with JJ Abrams. DISCOVERY being set before THE ORIGINAL SERIES was Bryan Fuller's choice. DISCOVERY dismissing the anthology format was CBS.

Kurtzman has been a producer's screenwriter who executes his marching orders such as being told to make Kirk less like Shatner's character and more like Tom Cruise in TOP GUN or to make Spock angrier -- albeit with the view that by STAR TREK BEYOND, they'd be more like their TV counterparts.

It's been that way for most of his career. Kurtzman got his start on HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS where he was parachuted into Season 4 when series lead Kevin Sorbo had suffered a series of debilitating strokes and couldn't be on set for more than an hour a day. His work has often been defined by labouring within pre-existing circumstances such as writing TRANSFORMERS movies based around action and 'comedy' sequences the director had already visualized or being forced to rewrite a monster movie into a Tom Cruise action vehicle or being given Electro, Green Goblin, Rhino as well as plans for spinoffs with the Black Cat, the Chameleon, Sandman, Mysterio, the Vulture, Dr. Octopus and told to write AMAZING SPIDER-MAN II out of it.

Your nemesis J. Michael Straczynski has talked a bit about writing for hire under such circumstances. In these situations, writers like Kurtzman must accept all the notes, even the ones that contradict each other ("We want Peter to investigate his father's legacy and we want to be ready to cut those scenes!"). Writers then try to execute these instructions in as professional and responsible a manner as one can. Kurtzman and his then-writing partner Roberto Orci were appreciated in Hollywood for providing producers and directors with the material they asked for without complaint.

When left to their own devices on the TRANSFORMERS PRIME animated series, Kurtzman and Orci delivered an updated yet lovingly reverential take on the franchise that was pretty well-received and in stark contrast to their feature film work. When working on STAR TREK comic books, Kurtzman took the opportunity to do a belated NEXT GENERATION finale. JJ Abrams took the blame for INTO DARKNESS' problems, saying that he'd asked his friends to write the scenes they did and he'd misguided them.

With DISCOVERY, Kurtzman has said that he was only involved in post production. I say wait for Season 2 before you judge Kurtzman as that's the only STAR TREK in which he's been making decisions as opposed to executing someone else's. It could be another TRANSFORMERS where the feature films he scripted as a hired gun were critically lambasted while the animated series he controlled as showrunner has received near universal acclaim.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I don't really agree with some of your take on these events, but it's not enough to really get into. Maybe he is a Trek fan (or a fan of the original series and movies anyway). Either way, it hasn't been shown in anything that I've seen that's had his name on it. I don't know how to judge the man if I discount all of his credits and all of his interviews.

I agree that the problems with Discovery run deeper than Kurtzman. There were other people who made a lot of bad calls. I'd say that I haven't seen any right calls from them, actually. And some of those decisions quite possibly broke some copyright laws .

I just watched the teaser for the new Ghostbusters movie this evening, and I found myself super excited by that little nothing of a clip. I'd read an interview with the director before watching it, and I kinda had a sense of what was behind that teaser.
The thing that struck me was, whoever was making the decisions about Ghostbusters heard the audience, respected the audience, and adjusted the plan accordingly. Meanwhile, I've spent a lot of time recently hearing about studios/producers/directors/actors not only ignoring the fans of franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars, but insulting them or attacking them. It's so against the spirit that built these fandoms.

I'm not saying that Kurtzman doesn't have talent as a writer. I just don't think that any decision surrounding Star Trek has been a good one for a long time now. I think they need to stop what they're doing, step back, and start over, the same way Ghostbusters has.  If CBS is getting super awesome numbers with Discovery (which we have no way of knowing), then I'm wrong and they should just keep going while I walk away. But if they're not seeing a big response from viewers, it's not the audience that is broken.

I just haven't seen a lot of super excited commentary from the Trekkies. Could be the people I watch/read/talk to. I don't know.

As for season 2... Sorry, but I think they lost me. Season 1 was just bad, and the idea of yet another rehash of TOS characters does nothing for me. If I'm ever so bored that I end up hate watching it, I'll let you know. But it doesn't look like it.

I do watch The Orville though, even though I dislike Seth MacFarlane. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Season one of Discovery was underwhelming, to be sure.  OTOH, it was miles better than season one of TNG or Enterprise.  I think it compares favorably season one of DS9.  At the very least there's nothing as cringe worthy as "Move Along Home" or "If Wishes Were Horses".  I stuck with all of those, so I'll stick with this as well.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Informant wrote:

The thing that struck me was, whoever was making the decisions about Ghostbusters heard the audience, respected the audience, and adjusted the plan accordingly. Meanwhile, I've spent a lot of time recently hearing about studios/producers/directors/actors not only ignoring the fans of franchises like Star Trek and Star Wars, but insulting them or attacking them. It's so against the spirit that built these fandoms.

I'm not saying that Kurtzman doesn't have talent as a writer. I just don't think that any decision surrounding Star Trek has been a good one for a long time now. I think they need to stop what they're doing, step back, and start over, the same way Ghostbusters has.  If CBS is getting super awesome numbers with Discovery (which we have no way of knowing), then I'm wrong and they should just keep going while I walk away. But if they're not seeing a big response from viewers, it's not the audience that is broken.

Well, so far they have:

(a) Fired the Season 1 showrunners of DISCOVERY.
(b) Promoted the back room producer who didn't make any of the decisions for Season 1 to run the show.
(c) Commissioned an eighth season of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
(d) Rehired Patrick Stewart.
(e) Commissioned an animated STAR TREK comedy series.
(f) Cancelled STAR TREK IV(2) -- although that was Paramount, not CBS.

Anyway. I'm going to consider DISCOVERY's second season to be the first season of ALEX KURTZMAN's STAR TREK. Hopefully, it'll be the Kurtzman who wrote for FRINGE and TRANSFORMERS PRIME and not... TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN or THE MUMMY, both of which seemed to leave him with post traumatic stress.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, I enjoyed DISCOVERY's Season 2 premiere. It's curious how Season 1 was so divorced from THE ORIGINAL SERIES in production design and mythology and now they're attempting to dovetail with it. It shows a very different hand at the helm -- except it also doesn't because Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts hadn't been fired when this premiere was written and filmed; it was only with Episode 6 that Kurtzman was fully in control -- although he did direct this episode and may or may not have engaged in re-edits and reshoots. I'm starting to wonder if every season of DISCOVERY will start with the showrunner's departure after the first few episodes.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

suposedly season 1 was pre sold to netflix world wide except usa, the liscencing fee made it virtually free to cbs to air on cbs all access.  Well Netflix did not get tge viewership promised soCBS basically has a year to fix it and get viewership up so they can continue to demand the liscencing fee.  That and while helping CBS All Access getting their streaming service numbers up they arent highenough

Must be doing something The capt is getting a spin off, Picard isgetting a spin off, and anew cartoon is coming

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I liked the premiere too, but I don't understand the uniforms.  Is the Enterprise the only ship that is using the new uniforms?  Why does Pike go back to the "old" uniform by the end?

I'm still upset that CBS shot down the anthology aspect.  Even if they didn't want to, I still think the Discovery should've returned back from the Mirror Universe in a post-DS9 Federation.  That way it's still a continuation like CBS wanted and yet it's a brand new show, essentially.

Introducing a new side of Spock, having this whole time where Pike is the captain of the Discovery, etc seems like a bad excuse to add to a time period that I think has been fully fleshed out.  I get that modern writers want a chance to play with classic toyboxes, but Trek's obsession with the TOS time period and Wars' obsession with the A New Hope time period is, honestly, really bothersome to me.  Let's see something new.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I liked the premiere too, but I don't understand the uniforms.  Is the Enterprise the only ship that is using the new uniforms?  Why does Pike go back to the "old" uniform by the end?

The simplest explanation within the previous TREK shows: Starfleet rolls out new uniforms gradually as we saw with THE NEXT GENERATION where even after the TNG outfits were redesigned for Season 3, numerous crewmen and officers were still wearing the Season 1 - 2 uniforms (because the costume designers didn't have the budget to replace all the costumes immediately). This was also present in DEEP SPACE NINE where the DS9 crew met the TNG cast and the TNG cast were in still in the old uniforms. The initial implication was that the DS9 uniforms were for space station staff, but by GENERATIONS, the TNG cast had made the switch indicating that the uniforms were changed slowly. In-universe, I assume Starfleet has new uniforms come out gradually so that they can identify any problems before wider distribution/replication. And Pike accepts an older uniform because he wants to indicate that he's part of the Discovery crew while he's acting captain.

One of the Shatner novels (SPECTRE) has Spock commenting that Starfleet constantly tweaks the uniforms because regularly making little adjustments to the workplace lets employees know that their supervisors are paying attention and invested in their working environment.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I actually like the theory that Starfleet changes their uniforms so that people can identify the year, within a handful of years, if a Starfleet crewman is ever stranded in some sort of time travel situation wink

And I could see that explanation working.  I halfway expected Pike to be bringing the Discovery's new uniforms, but maybe that will happen later.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Has anyone been keeping up with Marc Zicree's YouTube channel, where he discusses Discovery and The Orville?

https://youtu.be/yn3-u2Lq9tw

I'm not sure that he adds a whole lot by way of deep thoughts or philosophy regarding the current state of the Trek universe, at least beyond what everyone else is saying online. However, I do find it interesting to see how someone who is actually in the Star Trek "circle", and who knows a lot of the people involved in both the old shows and even Discovery, views the series. He even mentioned Sliders at some point, when discussing Discovery... But I forget if it was in the video linked above or this one:

https://youtu.be/yrTBc0Gc1sc


I'd find the Sliders reference if I had more time, but I don't. Sorry.


I haven't seen the new season. I'm definitely not paying for it, so if I ever cave and decide to watch, it will be at some point once it's all out. However, from where I sit, it just seems like Star Trek is stuck in a time loop. They keep going back to reinvent the wheel.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I'll have to watch the videos later, but I think the Orville is the more "Trek" of the two.  I find they're usually the ones dealing with morality and character, and Discovery is more about Sci-Fi action.  I feel like the characters are stronger and more rounded on the Orville, which I think is a testament to how seriously Seth MacFarlane and company are treating the show.  It doesn't even seem to be going for comedy that much, anymore.  It's still fairly funny, but there are a lot of moments of genuine joy on the show.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

To me, Orville has a lot of the same spirit of Sliders S1.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I think a lot of people were probably turned off by Seth MacFarlane himself and the way the show was marketed.  I think people expected a comedy (I, for example, was expecting a 30-minute show).  And while there are comedic aspects, I don't think the comedy is the main part of it.

I said it before, and I still think it's true.  It wouldn't take a ton of work to twist the Orville into the Trek universe.  And a lot of the twisting would simply be cosmetic (Union becomes Federation in both dialogue and insignia/etc).  There are more pop culture references in the Orville, but even Discovery had modern music in one of the episodes.  You could even explain that in-universe with the fact that guys like Ed and Gordon (the "jokesters" of the ship) are essentially Union/Federation rejects.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Did people expect a full-fledged comedy?  That seems silly.  I mean, maybe they wanted Galaxy Quest.  What the Orville is has never confused me.  But it's live ratings are dropping.  So who knows what it's fate will be.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

Did people expect a full-fledged comedy?  That seems silly.  I mean, maybe they wanted Galaxy Quest.  What the Orville is has never confused me.  But it's live ratings are dropping.  So who knows what it's fate will be.

From my memory, it was marketed more of a comedy than anything else.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz0xCehKWCQ

I feel like it even played a bit more for comedy than this shows, but it seems like every line of dialogue in that trailer is a joke or played for laughs.  I'm guessing Fox marketing assumed that they were going for the same audience as Family Guy?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I listened to Zicree's first video (mostly just a review of the S2 premiere).  I agree with just about everything he said.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 will not stop talking about THE ORVILLE, so I am going to watch it specifically and only because he keeps bringing it up. :-D

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

As the moderator of this forum, I carry heavy responsibilities and it is with the utmost thought and care that I have decided to rename Slider_Quinn21's thread to add THE ORVILLE into the mix, a decision I gave a full and uninterrupted four seconds of thought.

**

One of my favourite STAR TREK sites is ST-HYPERTEXT on which Jamahl Epsicokhan complained of THE ORVILLE: "This isn't a 'reimagining' of a well-known universe. This is a blatant carbon copy with simply the names changed. Warp drive? Ours is quantum drive. United Federation of Planets? Ours is the Planetary Union. You have Klingons? We have Krill (who look like the Jem'Hadar). We both have starships, shuttles, uniforms with insignias, corridors, bridges, captains' ready rooms, things that look like phasers and tricorders but might not be called those things, and aliens with prosthetic makeup. But why go to the trouble of spending all this money to take a trip down memory lane if you aren't going to bother to rethink what the universe itself is or how it works? Where's the unique point of view and take on the material?"

There is a unique take, it just isn't in terms of the science fiction or the world building. The unique take is: what if STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION were staffed with a cast of professional but awkward people with petty uncertainties, not so buried grudges, career anxieties, frustrations with colleagues, desires for creature comforts (like soda when flying the spaceship), broken marriages, drunken mis-steps, embarrassing relatives and other issues? What if TNG but with flawed human beings?

As much as all the TNG characters had arcs and failings, Seth MacFarlane noted quite hilariously: nobody on TNG was ever bad-tempered, bleary-eyed from a late night, eating lunch at their workstations, grousing about infidelities or watching the ship's captain argue with his ex-wife on the bridge with the captain's parents later asking if he'd gotten that colonoscopy.

THE ORVILLE is emerging from the new trend of shows like PARKS AND RECREATION and BROOKLYN NINE NINE which have taken professions like government and law enforcement which are usually shown with importance and elite aplomb, and rendered them as filled with awkward, silly, conflicted, ridiculous, normal people inhabiting a workplace comedy. And THE ORVILLE is now taking a similar perspective to the workplace environment of a Federation starship. It is a pastiche, but it isn't a parody -- it's just asking: what if TNG had a cast of people instead of paragons? What if Dan Harmon wrote STAR TREK? It'd be like this.

I think THE ORVILLE should have been a TREK series -- maybe one set in the 29th century to give the TNG era some breathing room -- and maybe it still could be.

I really like what tom2point0 said about the show:

It makes me think back to TNG and how in so many situations, every crew member acted like a perfect example of humanity in the future. They all did their duty, never complained about their shifts or officers, always had a complete understanding of the technical puzzles or problems that cropped up, etc. the Orville gang feel like people I could know right now.

For example, I thought about it. If I was on a ship, responsible for flying through space, for an 8 hour shift, I would defiantly want a soda. Maybe a bag of jerky too. And why NOT do some bingeing of a favorite sitcom or show as well? The little things they throw in like that make me feel like it's TNG with a group of people plucked from our present. I love that!

Fourth, they aren't afraid to do real sci fi type topics, just like TNG would. They do shows that metaphorically comment on current issues in our world. It makes for an enjoyable hour of TV. Much more than if it had been all dick and fart jokes and fourth wall breaking jokes.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I agree with all that too.

(Side note: I actually had an Orville post going about how it was the spiritual successor to Sliders on FOX, but I figured that was such a niche thought that it wouldn't make sense to convert it to an Orville thread.  I actually think it belongs in here, frankly.)

What I like about the Orville is that it feels like a real "job" and a real "workplace."  Like in TNG, there doesn't seem to be any idea of money.  Gordon doesn't find himself unable to keep up with his best friend Ed because Ed makes more money than him, but other than that, there's aspects that make it feel real and relateable.  There's the episode where Bortis has a holodeck addiction, essentially, and he asks to leave work early so many times that he has to offer to make up a shift after hours.  Captain Mercer asks to leave his shift early so he can go on a date.  They have the same kind of bar like Ten Forward, but people are meeting on awkward first dates and drinking with their buddies.  There's a school on the ship where kids get into realistic mischief.

The Orville is definitely a TNG parody/clone, but it takes itself seriously.  It feels real, and it has a certain charm to it.

I do wonder what would happen if Trek approached MacFarlane and tried to make Season 3, "Star Trek: Orville" - I know it would never ever happen because of licensing and because the show doesn't really represent the kind of ideals that Trek goes for....but if they did, I wonder if MacFarlane would be okay "becoming legitimate"

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

Did people expect a full-fledged comedy?  That seems silly.  I mean, maybe they wanted Galaxy Quest.  What the Orville is has never confused me.  But it's live ratings are dropping.  So who knows what it's fate will be.

From my memory, it was marketed more of a comedy than anything else.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz0xCehKWCQ

I feel like it even played a bit more for comedy than this shows, but it seems like every line of dialogue in that trailer is a joke or played for laughs.  I'm guessing Fox marketing assumed that they were going for the same audience as Family Guy?

well, I think they figured audiences new MacFarlane through Family Guy.  So yea, played up those elements.  It really was never intended to be a comedy.  More like sci-fi adventure with comedic elements.  The best of all worlds!

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I actually like it a lot more than the way it was marketed.  I think the only reason I even checked it out was because my buddy wanted to watch it.  He loves Trek and said it wasn't as dumb as it was being sold as.  I checked it out too, and it was so much better than I was picturing.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:
Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

Did people expect a full-fledged comedy?  That seems silly.  I mean, maybe they wanted Galaxy Quest.  What the Orville is has never confused me.  But it's live ratings are dropping.  So who knows what it's fate will be.

From my memory, it was marketed more of a comedy than anything else.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz0xCehKWCQ

I feel like it even played a bit more for comedy than this shows, but it seems like every line of dialogue in that trailer is a joke or played for laughs.  I'm guessing Fox marketing assumed that they were going for the same audience as Family Guy?

well, I think they figured audiences new MacFarlane through Family Guy.  So yea, played up those elements.  It really was never intended to be a comedy.  More like sci-fi adventure with comedic elements.  The best of all worlds!


I didn't watch it initially because I don't like Family Guy or much of anything MacFarlane had done before.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I don't like Family Guy either.  I actually hate shows like that, ha.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I agree with all that too.

(Side note: I actually had an Orville post going about how it was the spiritual successor to Sliders on FOX, but I figured that was such a niche thought that it wouldn't make sense to convert it to an Orville thread.  I actually think it belongs in here, frankly.)

What I like about the Orville is that it feels like a real "job" and a real "workplace."  Like in TNG, there doesn't seem to be any idea of money.  Gordon doesn't find himself unable to keep up with his best friend Ed because Ed makes more money than him, but other than that, there's aspects that make it feel real and relateable.  There's the episode where Bortis has a holodeck addiction, essentially, and he asks to leave work early so many times that he has to offer to make up a shift after hours.  Captain Mercer asks to leave his shift early so he can go on a date.  They have the same kind of bar like Ten Forward, but people are meeting on awkward first dates and drinking with their buddies.  There's a school on the ship where kids get into realistic mischief.

The Orville is definitely a TNG parody/clone, but it takes itself seriously.  It feels real, and it has a certain charm to it.

I do wonder what would happen if Trek approached MacFarlane and tried to make Season 3, "Star Trek: Orville" - I know it would never ever happen because of licensing and because the show doesn't really represent the kind of ideals that Trek goes for....but if they did, I wonder if MacFarlane would be okay "becoming legitimate"

Side-side note -- I'm trying to figure out how to combine your thread with this one, but when I did it earlier, it glitched badly, so I put it back the way it was.

I disagree with calling THE ORVILLE a parody, but it could be that we just use this word differently. I agree that it's a clone. But to me, "parody" describes content that is made to exaggerate another work for comedy and mockery. THE ORVILLE doesn't imitate THE NEXT GENERATION's highly formal, measured scripting style. It uses an approximation of TNG's set design with just enough variation to avoid a lawsuit. It mimics TNG's plots, but I don't believe THE ORVILLE's values oppose TNG's at all -- if anything, THE ORVILLE is a more sincere version of TNG's self-professed progressivism with non bipedal characters, Captain Mercer being nervous about imposing his values on alien species, etc..

The Planetary Union and the Federation have the same ideals, so I don't think THE ORVILLE mocks TNG at all; I think THE ORVILLE mocks itself by showing how the characters stumble and trip and stagger towards the goals that were effortless on TNG. I think THE ORVILLE could have been ENTERPRISE. You could have had the characters be more prone to bickering and silliness because they're from a less disciplined, settled era of Starfleet culture with humanity just starting out.

I also really like how the ORVILLE characters are balanced: they are not the perfect action figures of TNG, but they are also not the angst-machines of RIVERDALE or the incompetents on HEROES -- there's a very careful mix of personality traits, so they come off as normal people. Mercer's furious about Kelly's infidelity, but he's also capable of being civil. Gordon is dim-witted and a drinker, but not uniformly incompetent, just at times unreliable. That balance to avoid both extremity and blandness is very difficult and it's a credit to MacFarlane's writing and the actors that they can pull it off.

And if you wanted me to find a way to bring THE ORVILLE into the STAR TREK universe, you could go the simple path of establishing that it's an alternate timeline like the Mirror Universe. But another route: you could reveal that what we've been seeing on THE ORVILLE are historical records that have been corrupted and reconstructed, and when they're properly recompiled, the Orville is a Federation starship, everyone's a Starfleet officer, and all the episodes we've seen and aliens we've met are as we saw them -- but with a tweak here and there to account for the transporter.

Sadly or happily, THE ORVILLE is owned by Disney right now and I can't imagine them selling it to CBS or CBS wanting to buy it, and I don't know that THE ORVILLE *needs* to be STAR TREK now, just that it *should* have been at the outset. Even with DISCOVERY adopting a more jocular, bombastic scripting style, TREK has a very militaristic tone whereas the tone of THE ORVILLE is distinctly that of the office comedy and it would have added to the diversity of tone that Alex Kurtzman's chasing.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

ireactions wrote:

I also really like how the ORVILLE characters are balanced: they are not the perfect action figures of TNG, but they are also not the angst-machines of RIVERDALE or the incompetents on HEROES -- there's a very careful mix of personality traits, so they come off as normal people. Mercer's furious about Kelly's infidelity, but he's also capable of being civil. Gordon is dim-witted and a drinker, but not uniformly incompetent, just at times unreliable. That balance to avoid both extremity and blandness is very difficult and it's a credit to MacFarlane's writing and the actors that they can pull it off.

This is really what makes it work, in my opinion.  I really liked your comparison to Brooklyn Nine-Nine because I actually think that's really spot on.  I actually had a lot of concerns about that show as I did with the Orville - while I like Andy Samburg more than most, I was worried that he'd be too over the top for the show to work.  And while there's a certain amount of that, I feel like the show took Jake's character seriously enough for it to work.  Jake is a buffoon, and he's a jokester and a prankster.  But, at the same time, he's a great detective, and he knows when to turn off the goofiness and get to work.  The other detectives have their quirks, but they do a great job of showing that the team is capable and dedicated to protecting and serving.

The Orville is the same way.  Ed and Gordon are jokesters, but Ed has shown himself to be a great captain with a wonderful care for his crew.  He's been willing to sacrifice his life for his crew, and he takes great pain to make the right decision.  Gordon seems to be a drunk and a goof, but he's also been shown to be an elite pilot who cares about his job.  That way, the characters themselves are allowed to be funny in calm times, but the show can have real action sequences where you trust that the ship and the crew are competent.

That way, you're thinking in the back of your head why the Nine-Nine still have jobs or why the Orville hasn't been destroyed.  They're great teams that allow themselves the occasional appropriate amount of humor.

Just like real life.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I recently came across a dispatch regarding Season 3 of THE ORVILLE, a document that was written by Seth MacFarlane himself (in some parallel universe somewhere).

From: Seth MacFarlane
To: Alex Kurtzman
Re: CBS Purchasing Decision

Hey, Kurtzman! So excited for the Orville to join the TREK family! Here's my pitch for how we bring our boys and girls into the same room.

- Seth

Season 3, Episode 1: "Mixed and Mismatched"

Ed wakes up to find himself in a padded cell in a straitjacket. He breaks out of the jacket to find himself in a 24th century Starfleet uniform and is confused. Dr. Zimmerman (Robert Picardo) enters and addresses him as "Ensign Mercer" and asks if he's ready to begin. Exposition that follows: Ensign Mercer is a junior officer assigned to Starbase 47.

He was relieved of duty after turning up to duty in a homemade, non-Starfleet uniform and demanding to know where the Orville was. Ed protests and Dr. Zimmerman reveals: Ed's ancestor, Stewart Rivers (the character I played on ENTERPRISE) washed out of Starfleet and became an author. He wrote a series called THE ORVILLE with himself as the captain of a mid-level ship and Ed has now conflated reality with his great-great-great grandfather's writings.

Zimmerman tries to help Ed break out of his delusion and accept that he's not a daring leader or an adventurer, just a maintenance man at a research outpost. But as Ed peruses his ancestor's writings, Ed starts to have flashbacks to Season 1 episodes -- except the Orville is an Ambassador class ship, the transporter is present, everyone's in Starfleet uniforms and Klingons and Vulcans are present among his crew.

Ed escapes his holding cell and finds that Starbase 47 is a mismash of characters and technology from both THE ORVILLE and STAR TREK. The Starfleet Ed finds himself face to face with his Planetary Union counterpart who tries to kill him, shrieking it's one or the other of them. But Ed faces down this illusion and finally reaches the truth.

The real situation: in a recent adventure, the crew confiscated an illegal bioweapon. The weapon is a neurotoxin that was to be vented into a nearby sun. Due to a plumber's error, the toxin was shunted into Ed's shower, dousing him in a fluid that wipes memory on contact. Ed's brain has been erased.

Dr. Finn is trying to restore Ed's mind, but his real-life memories are becoming confused with the fictional works of Stewart Rivers' ORVILLE books, a series so popular that Ed's ship was named after Rivers' creation. Thanks to some cleverness from Isaac, Ed's memories are restored and he takes a day or two to recover from his ordeal.

When alone in his quarters, however, Ed records a personal log and we learn what Ed has withheld from everyone. Ed's real memories have become inextricably merged with the fictionalized version. Ed remembers his whole life, but he remembers it taking place in the universe of THE ORVILLE.

Ed then says he's sure he can still be a Starfleet officer, still captain his crew. "I can do this," he intones to himself. "I can do this." And a moment later, "Computer, delete last entry."

As the season progresses, Ed's lack of familiarity with Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans and the transporter will become a problem. If we need flashbacks, we either use the original footage and indicate that we're seeing the version in Ed's memories or we reshoot the scenes with everyone in Starfleet apparel. The Orville will need to be redesigned. All the aliens we introduced in Seasons 1 - 2 exist as separate species in the TREK universe; let's not indicate the Krill are Klingons or anything. The personalities and backstories of each character are unchanged.

Whadja think, Alex?


From: Alex Kurtzman
To: Seth MacFarlane
Re: CBS Purchasing Decision

Seth, when CBS bought THE ORVILLE, it wasn't to integrate your wannabe series with real TREK shows; it was just to air it on All Access since FOX had already paid to make it. I wouldn't want your TNG knockoff if it came with a cure for cancer and a director's cut of STAR TREK V.

Please take your ORVILLE premiere pitch (and your lame-ass copy of "In the Pale Moonlight"'s ending) and shove it up your ass.

Sincerely yours,

Alex

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Hahaha, I enjoyed that.

If I were to integrate it, I wouldn't even go that far.  I'd just have the entire Orville story be a holodeck program.  I'd combine elements of other stories like Captain Proton or the Doctor's "Emergency Command Hologram" with elements of something like Black Mirror's "USS Callister" - Ed is a low-ranking officer (Ensign might be too low for this - maybe he's a lieutenant) who's in a dead-end job.  Perhaps he made sacrifices for his wife's career, and then she cheated on him.  So now he fantasizes about a world where he actually fulfilled his dreams, his wife's career is below his, and he gets to hang out with his best friend and try to win her back.  The rest of the crew is approximations of real people (either as their current species or converted into Trek species)

In reality, he's too old to be considered for anything more than he is.  He's pretty good at his job, but he's getting passed up for people that are younger and still care enough to try hard enough to get promoted.

And then I'd do a soft reboot.  Kelly, either an admiral or a captain, offers him the chance to either be a first officer (under her) or a captain (where she'll supervise) on a mission of small importance.  He gets to pick the crew, and if it works out, he'll get a real ship.  For fun, let's say that it's post-DS9 and he's getting a similar opportunity from the Orville pilot - the post-war Federation has built too many ships and doesn't have enough good people to fill them.

So he picks his crew (the same ones from the Orville) and even gets to name the ship.  He names it the Orville.  So there'd be a slight change on who's in charge, but since the Orville stories are still "real" to Ed, they'd still have impact on us, the audience.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I just want to say that the shot of Ed flying a shuttle past Kelly's quarters to see who she was dating is the most hilariously stupid thing ever written for a science fiction series. And I say that as someone who wrote a scene where Rembrandt attacked the animal human hybrids with a bag of peanuts.

287 (edited by Informant 2019-01-27 12:09:48)

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I started watching DS9 again, and it sparked an idea in my head for a new Trek series (moving the Trek universe forward, not backward). Now I have a Star Trek series, living beside my concept for a Supergirl series, and neither of them are doing me any good.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

As an appropriate non-sequitur, here’s what Peter Griffin thinks of The Orville:

https://youtu.be/S_xMAd-7s8A

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

So, the Alara character played by Halston Sage has left THE ORVILLE. This is a weird situation, to put it mildly. In a short 12 episode season, Alara was the focus of two episodes, the first highlighting her youth and lack of command experience, the second focusing on her efforts to conquer fear in her line of work. Which makes it bizarre for the second season to write out the character and actress three episodes in.

No reasons have been given, although Sage and star/showrunner Seth MacFarlane were dating and broke up between Seasons 1 - 2. In addition, Sage has numerous movie roles that would be conflicting the rest of Season 2. I'm not sure which came first. Last I checked, FOX doesn't continue to pay performers who aren't working on their shows anymore, so if she wasn't going to be on THE ORVILLE, she would have had to book other jobs.

Since we don't have any facts, we should probably assume the best and think it was less a Jerry O'Connell/Sabrina Lloyd/John Rhys-Davies situation and more a Yvette Nicole Brown situation (she quit COMMUNITY after Season 5 because her father was ill and she needed to be with him). That said, it does make me think about all the numerous actors in genre shows who have been shockingly ungrateful and who waste time and resources seeing scripts and episodes produced around them to prepare for a lengthy term of duty that they don't actually complete.

I was always appalled by how ROSWELL stars Brendan Fehr, Katherine Heigl and Majandra Delfino were perpetually declaring their eagerness for the show to be cancelled so they could leave to do music and movies as though a TV show for which they'd auditioned and which had granted them a fanbase, exposure and financial security were now beneath them.

David Duchovny is an interesting case, perpetually whining about how bored he was on THE X-FILES. Slider_Quinn21 points to Duchovny as an example of how actors often don't wish to stay when speaking of Jerry, Sabrina and John's departures, but this fails to take note that all these actors signed multi-year contracts. If they didn't want to spend 5 - 7 years working on a TV show, then the Fehrs, Heigls, Definos and Duchovnys of the world shouldn't have auditioned for these roles and spent their lives to that point pursuing such work.

It's interesting that Heigl, Duchovny and Jerry O'Connell, after hitting it big with TV shows, would then act as though their success were completely independent of the very same projects that made their careers. Duchovny's career proved strong with or without his TV show, but Heigl's absurd ego would eventually blow up her career and she's still trying to put the pieces back together.

Temporal Flux and I remarked after TOMCATS that Jerry would be begging Universal for a SLIDERS revival if he had one more disaster; shortly after KANGAROO JACK, Jerry O'Connell fully committed to starring in a SLIDERS movie if there would ever be one and he dropped his stipulation that Charlie be given a role.

But to be fair, actors often have understandable reasons for leaving or wanting to leave. Duchovny had been informed that THE X-FILES was only going to film the pilot in Vancouver before relocating to Los Angeles, an expectation that wasn't met when FOX realized that Vancouver would cost a lot less. \John never quit SLIDERS, he was fired. Sabrina left because Kari Wuhrer was harassing her. Jerry didn't actually quit SLIDERS; his contract ended when Sci-Fi was late in picking up his option for Season 5, although he was deeply uncaring towards the fans in his refusal to do an onscreen exit story. Donald Glover had mental health issues when he left COMMUNITY and Halston Sage clearly gave THE ORVILLE sufficient time to write a departure rather than have Alara vanish between seasons.

I would say the poster child for a foolish departure from a show is Wil Wheaton. He flat out admits in his autobiographies that leaving THE NEXT GENERATION was due to ego and insecurity. He was 16 years-old, stepping aboard a STAR TREK cruise and saw the ORIGINAL SERIES cast drunkenly greeting fans at the pier; he thought they were pathetic losers.

Wil Wheaton wrote:

When I looked at these original series actors, I saw The Ghosts of My Career Yet To Come. I had no idea at the time that it was probably not that big a deal to have a few drinks early in the morning while you were on vacation. I had no idea that some of the STAR TREK alumni were quite happy traveling around the country and performing for Trekkies at conventions.

A couple of hours later, I made a choice that would drive my life and haunt me for years: I would get out of my STAR TREK contract, and I would go on to a huge career in movies. I would prove to everyone that I was a great actor and that STAR TREK was just a small part of my resume. Of course, I’m still talking about what I did when I was a kid, and I never got that big film career I was hoping for. I felt like I had to prove to everyone that STAND BY ME wasn’t a fluke, that I deserved all the attention that I got from that movie. I never considered that most actors go their entire careers without one film like STAND BY ME to their credit. I never considered that I could have stuck around on STAR TREK until the end, and then stepped off into a film career, like, say, Patrick Stewart.

Wheaton later notes that because he blew off STAR TREK before the show was complete, he didn't have the earnings and savings that would have come with sticking it out for seven seasons. Unable to find work or even be paid for convention appearances, Wheaton realized that what he should have done was "work on a great series for a few more years, build up a nice bank account, and then parlay the success of STAR TREK into a film career," but instead, he was reduced to selling autographed Wesley action figures on eBay in order to avoid having the bank foreclose on his house. It wasn't until he published his self-mocking memoirs that he found a new career as a writer.

It's interesting to look at Wheaton and then look at actors like Tom Welling, Jared Padelecki and Jensen Ackles, all of whom landed roles on long-running shows and have appreciated how fortunate they are and how they intend to exploit it fully for money, for experience in producing and directing, for promoting their other businesses -- because most actors never find such opportunities.

Wheaton was getting paid thousands of dollars a week to say "Hailing frequencies open" and if that wasn't enough for him, he could have made his own opportunities. Tom Welling found SMALLVILLE's scripts abysmal, but he took the time between repetitive soap opera dialogue with Kristen Kreuk to job shadow producers and directors, treat SMALLVILLE like film school, and by Season 8, he was running the show. Wheaton is a talented writer and sci-fi fan; he should have pitched stories to Roddenberry and Roddenberry might've liked the publicity of his teenaged cast member also being a teenaged writer.

Anyway. I hope Halston Sage is doing okay and, as I said, I assume it was a sick relative sort of situation.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I’ll always remember the Zicree rule of thumb on this one; when an actor leaves a show, you can usually tell under what circumstances the exit occurred by how they’re written off.

In the case of Halston Sage, she was not only given a well done special episode; but her character was left happy, healthy and with the explicit offer by Mercer / McFarlane that her seat was always there if she wanted to come back.  This is kind of a reverse-Arturo. Where the Professor had one of the most horrible exits I’ve seen, Alara was probably given one of the best.  It’s hard for me to believe there’s any bad blood.

I will offer one last observation, though.  McFarlane comes across as pretty crass and egotistical, but I believe all of it is an act.  Looking at the edges of his behavior (especially concerning the Harvey Weinstein reports), McFarlane seems like someone who has a great respect for women.

The most obvious explanation for Sage leaving is the break-up with McFarlane.  Was Alara’s exit written so perfectly opposite of the norm because McFarlane was trying to make it that way?  Was McFarlane trying to be classy about it?  That’s where I’m leaning toward on the explanation.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

What an interesting perspective from Zicree! It certainly rings true.

I don't know a lot about Seth MacFarlane's personal life, but he writes women well. I've only seen a season or two of FAMILY GUY, but Lois was written as being Peter's equal in depravity and sexual independence and regularly mocked any objectification even as she invited it. With THE ORVILLE, Kelly is written as cheating on Ed but is not defined by her infidelity but rather her skill at delegating and sense of fair play. Dr. Finn is older than most female protagonists on network TV and written as a professional with her own sexuality as opposed to having it presented in terms of male desire. Alara was written as a young adult learning job the job with her romantic life acknowledged but as only one factor in a varied existence.

That said, I thought Alara's exit story was clumsy. I totally agree with you about the *intentions* being kind towards the character and performer, but the actual story has Alara struggling with a physical ailment, finding a solution -- but then turning her back on it because pursuing a relationship with her family is for some reason impossible to pursue while holding down a day job. Do they not have Skype?

It was confusing, but I could see that MacFarlane wrote it that way because he wanted it to be entirely Alara's choice to leave the Orville. And I can see why MacFarlane didn't want to have Alara promoted off the Orville to Section 31 or take another assignment because the character hadn't really earned a new position, so it had to be her choice to step away from her career. I would have written Alara out off-camera with a line saying that Alara's self-inflicted psych experiment last year had caught high command's attention and she was now helping to devise cadet training programs back on Earth. But there was a wish for an onscreen story that made it clear Alara could return whenever she or the actress chose.

Hopefully, THE ORVILLE will run for so many years and produce so many episodes that the Alara-episodes of Season 1 will just be an oddity of its early installments.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

TemporalFlux wrote:

In the case of Halston Sage, she was not only given a well done special episode; but her character was left happy, healthy and with the explicit offer by Mercer / McFarlane that her seat was always there if she wanted to come back.  This is kind of a reverse-Arturo. Where the Professor had one of the most horrible exits I’ve seen, Alara was probably given one of the best.  It’s hard for me to believe there’s any bad blood.

That's sort of where I land.  Although what's funny is that, while we talk about how "realistic" the Orville is as a workplace, this seems like a potential way to do more with that and have Alara take a job on another ship.  That's something that happens all the time in the real world, and I think it would make sense.  Now, to be fair, most people leave jobs more more money, and that's obviously not a factor.  But other things could be - promotional opportunities, different experiences, or working with certain people could be reasons why Alara left.  And, that way, she could stay active in the universe while also moving on.

I don't dislike the way they did it.  It was actually a nice little Sci-Fi story, I thought.  But if they simply had someone come and "poach" her for a better opportunity, it might've been a little more "realistic."

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I watched another video from Midnight's Edge, regarding the Star Trek rights, how the Prime universe isn't really the original canon universe, and how Star Trek could potentially be saved in the future.

Is the video legit? I have no clue. At least 50% of it is unverifiable supposition. But I have to say, it's some of the best Trek-related storytelling that I've seen in years! Drama! Suspense! Intrigue! Deep, philosophical and moral questions! And all with a hint of hopeful optimism for the future. It may or may not be BS, but if CBS All Access put this much effort into their series, maybe I'd be more of a fan!


https://youtu.be/ojtX_Oz4WsU

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I continue to enjoy Discovery, it's got an TOS feel to it for sure.  S2 has been just as cool as S1.  My friends LOVE The Orville, but it's just not for me.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

So I read a clickbaity article about how the Discovery era is going to fold seamlessly into the TOS era.  Essentially, it stems from the most recent episode.  Number One comes on board and says that part of the reason the Enterprise is failing is because the holographic communication is screwing up systems.  So Pike orders the Enterprise to strip off all the technology and have all communications be on "good old-fashioned" screens. 

Then, to explain the turbolifts, we had that virus infect the universal translator, and Saru says they'd need a translator to operate it.  Solution?  Make it operated by a very old-fashioned hand-operated bar.

And since Pike, in canon, becomes a Fleet Admiral, he'd have the power to make all his anti-technology decisions spread throughout the Federation.

....

I don't know why they insist on doing all these backflips to make the timeline work.  They made a mistake and set the series in the wrong era.  If you want the tech to be updated and look sleek and cool *and* you want to have TOS-era characters....just don't worry about it.  Trying to do all these backbends to make it work is just distracting.

***************

Although I did do the liberty of stealing one of ireactions ideas to offer my own explanation - namely, his Orville idea.

Season ## premiere - Michael Burnham wakes up on a ship surrounded by people she doesn't know.  They try and calm her down, explaining that she's been in a coma for 20 years.  She was in a shuttle accident, and her mind created a story of her career in Starfleet to get her through it.  It's actually the 28th Century, but when Michael was little, she was fascinated by the stories of Kirk and Spock and Vulcan culture.  The 28th Century is going through a sort of "galactic dark ages" where technology and progress has become stagnant.  The Federation is once again at war with the Klingons, but the reason seems to be nothing more than boredom.

Since Burnham's mind assumes her parents were killed, they were.  So in her coma, she envisions a life where she gets to live with the famous Ambassador Spock and learn from his famous parents.  And then she gets to join Starfleet back when their mission meant something.  She gets to be on the forefront of solving the war with the Klingons.  She gets to seek out new life and new civilizations back when there was something to seek out and new civilizations to meet.

Why is the technology so much nicer looking?  She's seeing the 23rd century through 28th century eyes.  She can't imagine a world without modern holographic communicators.  She can't imagine a time when spore drives (invented in the 26th century) couldn't send you wherever you wanted and imagine she's on the first ship ever installed with one.

Since she's never seen a Klingon in real life, her idea of what they look like is fuzzy.  It could even explain why Pike and Spock and Sarek and Amanda look differently than TOS - it's a child's approximation.

The season would have Burnham using her new 23rd Century ideals to lead a new ship out to reclaim Starfleet's original purpose.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

I'm sorta impressed by where I think the Orville is going.  They had their second episode about the Moclans and their rigid society.  They can't have females, and now they cannot be attracted to females.

And so the episode ends with a conversation with Ed and Kelly where they talk about how they could possibly co-exist with the Moclans.  Kelly said they're too valuable to the Union, but Ed seems convinced that it won't work out full time.  The Orville, a Star Trek parody, seems like it wants to take the story where Trek never did.  What if the Federation added a species, and what if that union simply didn't work?  What if the Federation had a divorce?

I know there was a proposed spin-off post-Enterprise where the Vulcans were going to leave the Federation.  I'm not sure if that had ever happened (even with a minor species), but I think this is potentially fascinating territory for the Orville to cover.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

The Moclan trajectory also has shades of modern ideas like Brexit.  It’s what Star Trek used to be and was meant to be - a look at modern problems through a sci-fi lens.

And while it’s been tempting to see Moclans as a Klingon analogue, it’s becoming more clear that they are a Vulcan analogue.  If that’s the case, then the Moclans aren’t just a partner - they are a major partner.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Yeah, Kelly didn't seem to think that the Union would be the same without them.  That's what's sorta intriguing about this storyline.  If the Union said "change or you're out," what would happen?  And who's the bad guy there?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

Well, from where I'm sitting, the only solution is for you -- yes, specifically you -- to wander into a tense situation and share a sad story about your family that rapidly de-escalates the conflict as everyone switches gears to empathize with you.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV (and The Orville, too!)

So last night’s episode of Orville - wow.