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

Last night's ORVILLE terrified me.

That said, I noticed that Mark Jackson's performance as Isaac was noticeably different after a certain point and that suggests the situation isn't entirely as presented.

I have to say, THE ORVILLE has really turned Brannon Braga's reputation around for me. I used to view Braga as the Bill Dial of STAR TREK, a comically inept incompetent who stumbled into a leadership role and floundered aimlessly, but his writing on THE ORVILLE and his writing on this episode is nothing short of excellent.

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

If they pay it off like I think they will, it will be pretty impressive

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

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.

That was the original trajectory for DS9 season 4 - the Vulcans would leave the Federation. When they brought in Worf, they changed the crisis to the Klingons abandoning the peace treaty with the Federation.

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

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

Interesting.  I was actually thinking something else, but that would've been pretty huge.

The Orville was great last night.  It's incredible that it's gotten to a place where they can have an episode with very little humor and make me feel terrified for the crew.

Other than to help us identify him, is there any particular reason why everyone else on Isaac's planet has red eyes and he has blue?

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

I dunno. Shall we speculate on Isaac? Spoilers!!!
































I noticed that there was a marked difference between Isaac in previous episodes and after he was rebooted in this one. Specifically: he was no longer indulging or respecting other people's feelings. A key moment for me in Isaac's character was when he and the two children, Marcus and Ty, were stranded on a barren planet and the kids were fighting over a video game that Isaac grabbed, threw into the air and shot. "The game is gone," he informed them. "It is never to be spoken of again." He was concerned about the boys' conflict interfering with their continued survival and even though their feelings weren't important to him, he understood that their feelings were important to them.

It's sort of like how Slider_Quinn21 doesn't take media tie-in comic books, novels, animations, webisodes and such seriously, but he knows that I take them seriously, and he doesn't pretend to consider them canon, but he acknowledges that someone out there does and that my feelings about them are just as legitimate as his lack of feeling towards them. There was consideration and respect even from a canon-following robot like Slider_Quinn21 towards a childish fantasist like me, just as there was from an emotion-averse robot like Isaac towards the actual children and humans who must seem childlike to him.

That is not present in Mark Jackson's performance once Isaac is rebooted. In previous episodes, even when dismissing people's emotional investments, Isaac would put in the time to lounge around Dr. Finn's quarters with beer and demands for dinner. When she asked him if she were a bad mother, he immediately answered, "Yes," but lingered to discuss it in more detail. Jackson's post-reboot performance has a very different sense of timing; his behaviour towards Marcus and Ty in his farewell is clipped and dismissive. His proceeding through his farewell party is devoid of slow, careful precision. He throws away Ty's drawing when, even if he didn't value it, he would have previously grasped that Ty valued him having it.

Ty himself notes the discrepancy: why would Isaac take the time to give piano lessons and play games of cognition and skill with the children? There was a level of indulgence to Isaac; that indulgence is absent once the upload is complete. It's almost as though in the upload, the Kaylons removed and/or added some specific programming. It makes me wonder if Isaac, when aboard the Orville, was programmed to be ignorant of the invasion plot. If the spy doesn't know he's a spy, he can't give himself away. After the upload, the Kaylons restored his mission and removed his affection for the crew, for Dr. Finn and for the children.

There's also the fact that there is no explicit onscreen event that indicates completion for Isaac's mission to plot an invasion of Earth. The Kaylons are immediately shown to be capable of remotely commandeering the Orville even before they've stepped aboard. They seem to have stepped up their timetable after being found out, but I wonder if Isaac was shut down because his fondness for the crew became a contradiction with the sleeper programming to gather intelligence to eradicate the Union.

I dunno! Generally, actors like Jackson are contracted for 5 - 7 years, so I assume they'll find some way to keep the actor in the cast. But my concluding point: the day Slider_Quinn21 doesn't indulge my fondness for tie-ins is the day we all know he's been replaced by a robot and we have to tell his wife.

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

My own take on it:

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I think there were some interesting choices made in the story that are not so much clues to the resolution but instead groundwork.

First there is the title of the episode - “Identity”.  It’s a title choice that has many layers.  Obviously it’s referring to who Isaac’s people really are, but it can also be referring to Isaac himself.  Isaac has formed his own personal identity while on the Orville.  As he mentioned in an earlier episode, his subroutines have been altered to the point that he needs the Orville crew to function.  Keeping them alive is his own self preservation in a way.

Next we start out the episode with Isaac playing something like 8th dimensional chess.  Isaac boasts about how he is smarter than everyone, but he’s also proving his ability to form complex strategies and win every time.

Then Isaac shuts down.  As we later find out, this was done remotely by his people from a vast distance away.  If it can be done to Isaac, it stands to reason it can be done to any of his kind - potentially to all of them no matter where they are.

Isaac returns home and is rebooted.  It is stated he will be taken away to be disassembled and re-integrated; but the only thing that happens is an interface and possibly a download.  This is different than the Kaylon receiving Isaac’s reports - this was a direct connection to Isaac himself.  After the interface, Isaac is *not* disassembled and is returned to talk to the crew of the Orville.  Why did the Kaylon change their mind?

Isaac goes through his good byes and the party, but he is acting a little differently.  After receiving the drawing, he leaves.  Before leaving the ship, Isaac takes a long look at the drawing and then discards it.  Why did he look at it like that?  Why didn’t he refuse the drawing when it was first offered?

Lastly, the Kaylon spring their trap; but they don’t kill the Orville crew on the spot?  They only kill those who are attacking them.  Why keep the crew alive?  Why take the ship?  The Kaylon don’t need any of them.

I think Isaac is playing a long game; and like his people were doing, Isaac was stalling for time (which made it necessary to act differently to the crew so as not to give himself away to his people).  Isaac has infected his people with his subroutines in that download, and they are being altered to have an affinity for the Orville just as Isaac has.  Isaac knew this would happen, but it takes time.  Ty’s exploration of the planet messed things up a little causing the Kaylon to spring the trap early before their minds could be changed, but it’s still processing in their systems.

The interesting thing is this.  What if it doesn’t work?  There is another option. Would Isaac push the off button of the Kaylon species?  Makes for an interesting discussion on genocide, and it could potentially make Isaac the last Kaylon in existence (making him more like Data).  Of course, Isaac won’t be viewed the same by humanity after this; but killing his entire species to save the Union would go a long way toward the Union (and the Orville) giving him a second chance.

And the massive punchline to the whole story?  If Isaac pulls all of this off, he’s going to prove he is smarter than everybody else.

Just my thoughts on it.  We’ll see where it goes!

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

All interesting theories.  I do wonder how the series will continue with Isaac regardless of the outcome.

*********

On Discovery, I'm having a hard time connecting with this season.  I don't know what it is, but there's a lot of non-science things going on.  They had a lot of spirituality on DS9, but I don't know if it works as well here.

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

Also, is Section 31 a secret?  It's been a while since I've seen the DS9 episodes (and I haven't seen the Enterprise ones), but I thought it was completely off the books and no one knew about it?  Now Georgiou is flashing her special combadge, and it's so recognizable that Burnham knows what it is immediately?

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

I feel DISCOVERY has been pretty clear that the Red Angel phenomenon is not supernatural or metaphysical in nature?

**

Oh, Section 31. I feel like Section 31 has been completely mishandled. Ira Steven Behr created them because he felt it unlikely that the Federation's utopia could exist without some sort of black-ops wetwork division. In their three episodes of DEEP SPACE NINE, the most disturbing thing about Section 31 is their lack of official existence. We only get to know one agent, Luther Sloane, and there's no record of him.

In their second episode, a Romulan proves that Section 31 doesn't exist and that Sloane concocted it as a hoax to assassinate an old enemy; this proof turns out to be staged by Sloane himself, showing that Section 31 could cease to exist on his say-so. Starfleet doesn't acknowledge its existence. To Bashir and Sisko, it's an urban legend or a rogue nation (like the Syndicate in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE). To Odo, Section 31 IS the Federation and claiming otherwise is just an exercise in plausible deniability. And to Sloane, Section 31 is like the Impossible Missions Force. Is Section 31 part of the Federation? Are they heroes? Are the villains? Could Section 31 be trickery and fakery with Sloane using a transporter and a holodeck?

Ira Steven Behr created Section 31 specifically to exist in this ambiguity and I think subsequent writers missed the point. With INTO DARKNESS, Section 31 tries to spark interstellar war between the Klingons and the Federation, a ridiculously attention-demanding tactic from what was a covert organization of spies. Strangely for me, I dislike the SECTION 31 novels which umambiguously declare Section 31 to be villains and have Bashir expose and defeat the organization.

And I think DISCOVERY has missed the point too, showing Section 31 in the chain of command, taking orders from admirals, being known to Captain Pike and sporting special badges. The point of Behr's Section 31 is that they exist entirely as a state of mind and the belief that the ends justify the means and that the Federation's hands can be kept clean if the black-ops wetwork is performed by individuals who aren't sanctioned but also aren't enforced or prevented.

Sloane, at the end of his second episode, tells Bashir that Section 31 engages in betrayal and sabotage and assassination so that Bashir doesn't have to -- so to present Section 31 as a branch of Starfleet Intelligence undermines the reason why their writer created them. Section 31, as presented in DS9 and briefly in Enterprise, predates the United Federation of Planets and exists within the depths of human nature itself.

I concede that Alex Kurtzman has acknowledged the discrepancy between Section 31 being a branch of Starfleet in DISCOVERY and Section 31 being an urban myth in DS9. He says he'll show the transition in Michelle Yeoh's SECTION 31 TV show and I imagine he'll have the Discovery crew reject 31 and shut it down, leaving it as a quiet arrangement between individual officers rather than an actual Starfleet department -- but even that would explicitly declare that Section 31 isn't the Federation and rather misses Ira Steven Behr's point.

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

ireactions wrote:

I feel DISCOVERY has been pretty clear that the Red Angel phenomenon is not supernatural or metaphysical in nature?

The Red Angel, yes.  What I'm talking about mostly revolves around the Culber subplot.  They touched on it a bit last season too, where the spore network seemed to be some sort of afterlife.  Now they have someone's spirit existing and then being reformed into a human body?  I know Trek has dealt with stuff like this before, but it doesn't feel right for the series for whatever reason.  Could just be me.

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

And that's how I remembered Section 31 and why I was so surprised to hear it talked about so openly.  Even if it eventually gets phased out, people in the DS9 era should know about it.  Or, at least, react to it in some way.  "That was phased out hundreds of years ago."  It'd be like Homeland Security getting phased out and people refusing to believe it ever existed in 2200.

I know we've beaten this horse to death, but I think this could've been another example of the show being better in the 25th century.  What if, after DS9, Section 31 did go legit?  What if, because of the actions of Bashir and co., remnants of the organization decided to expose themselves to Starfleet and make a "tamer" version of the organization.  And then maybe the Georgiou show makes it clear that they're not tamer.  At least it's progress instead of writing something and then doing backflips to make it work in the existing continuity.

Then there's stuff like Saru.  There's all this stuff about him and his planet, but the problem is that we've never seen any other Kelpians.  They've never been mentioned again.  So while there certainly could be Kelpians on other starships, none have ever been prominent enough to be seen or mentioned ever again.  If their planet joined the Federation, we might never know.  Same with Denobulans.  I know we don't see many Tellarites (even though they're founding members of the Federation), but it makes me worry that these characters are the only ones who ever made it.  It'd be like if Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier but no other African Americans wanted to (or were allowed to) play.

In Saru's case, I worry that his fellow Kelpians destroyed their enemies, destroyed all the technology, and never became warp capable.

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

You know, I haven’t seen any Scottish people for about a year. I’m starting to wonder if all Scottish people have ceased to exist. ;-)

**

Slider_Quinn21 is quite unfair, taking no issue with VOYAGER regularly killing and resurrecting Harry Kim and others via time travel and alternate universe doubles. But DISCOVERY has apparently crossed some line.

I don’t see what’s so problematic here. When Stamets kissed Dr. Culber’s dying body, he acted as a lightning rod and transferred Culber’s ebbing lifeforce into the mycelial network in which Culber’s consciousness reasserted itself and his perceptual effect on the interphasic dimension reconstituted his physical form and actually no, I see the problem here and Slider_Quinn21 is right, this is complete and total nonsense.

**

I honestly don’t have much to say about Slider_Quinn21’s criticisms of DISCOVERY being set in the wrong era. It wasn’t when DISCOVERY was intended to only have the first season set pre-TOS, but now it’s a problem. He’s right again.

**

It won’t be difficult to square Section 31 being a branch of Starfleet intelligence in DSC with Section 31 being a secret cabal that pre-dates the Federation itself on DS9 — at least in terms of the STAR TREK universe. As early as “Return of the Archons,” TREK indicated that telepathic technology that can wipe memories exists. But even without that, Section 31 is only being spoken of openly aboard a highly classified warship and Captain Pike knew of 31 not because he had worked for them, but because he was friends with one of their agents.

The issue is not really the continuity as much as the authorial intent. Behr’s Section 31 was not within Starfleet; it was a separate organization that occasionally recruited or impersonated Starfleet officers. In addition, I don’t really see Behr’s Section 31 being dispatched to hunt down escaped mental patients. DISCOVERY is treating Section 31 like Starfleet’s personal assassins and thugs; the point of Behr’s Section 31 is that they run rings around Starfleet and seem to have little difficulty co-opting it without existing within it. Behr’s Section 31 would be giving Admiral Cornwell orders (or ‘suggestions’).

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

Ha with the Culber stuff, I acknowledged it might just be me.

And I don't forgive all the Voyager stuff.  Voyager was very much a mess, but I just had fun with it for whatever reason.

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But even without that, Section 31 is only being spoken of openly aboard a highly classified warship and Captain Pike knew of 31 not because he had worked for them, but because he was friends with one of their agents.

True, but Michael recognized their combadge.  Maybe she might know via Georgiou or Sarek or something, but I was more surprised that she knew than Pike. 

But just having their own combadges sorta takes the "secret" out of "secret agent" doesn't it? smile

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

Setting aside being sardonic -- Culber's resurrection made no sense. Stamets kissing his dead corpse in no way explains how he somehow continued to exist inside the spore network. The explanation might as well have been that DISCOVERY found a loophole via the spore drive to exercise their option on actor Wilson Cruz for a second season. At least VOYAGER's time travel and alternate universe doubles made some logical sense within their own stories. Culber's restoration is inexplicable. And yes, the badges are indeed a problem that will prompt some fleet-wide databank wipe and "Archons" style memory erasure or some wanton act of Q.

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

The Orville

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Things actually went a little more traditionally than we were thinking.  Isaac did betray his people, but it wasn't as extreme as we were thinking.  It also didn't really seem like he was playing any sort of long game.  It seems like he was going along with it, possibly hoping to think of something when it was time.

At the same time, I don't know if Isaac can really be let off the hook.  Yeah, he acted when he needed to, and he was willing to sacrifice himself.  But he knew the whole time that his people could possibly decide to destroy them all.  If he ever got to the point where he was willing to sacrifice himself to protect them, he should've said something.  The fact that he didn't is pretty damning against him.  Even if he thought/calculated that he was providing enough evidence to protect the crew, he should've at least warned them of what could've happened.  He didn't even tell them that he'd be deactivated once he'd accumulated enough data.

The show didn't really even try to explain any of this.  They said that Isaac was activated after the builders were all killed, but that information wasn't kept from him.  He seemed to know what happened.  There didn't seem to be any indication that anything was kept from him to prevent him from making a logical leap or anything that would prevent him from telling the crew about it.

He knew.  He didn't say anything.  So unless he decided that he cared exactly when he acted, he's still largely responsible for all the people that died over the course of this incident.

It was very reminiscent of second parters on TNG or VOY.  Just a little too neat and tidy.  But I did think the Krill plan was a pretty creative idea, and I was still impressed at how serious everything was taken.

My question is this - they seemed to imply that the Kalon were much more advanced than the Union, but the Krill seemed to destroy them fairly easily.  How in the heck is the Union staying in a war with the Krill?

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

SPOILERS





































I thought the second part was good, but, well -- conventional. The ending seems to imply that Isaac will be back at his post next week with his colleagues happy to be serving with a comrade who was surveilling them to plot their deaths and participated in an attack that killed several crewman. Questions raised in Part 1 -- why was Isaac behaving differently after the download? Why wasn't he disassembled as the Kaylon said he would be? -- they're either not addressed because the writers have no answers or because they wish to imply rather than assert. In addition, it's not entirely clear why Isaac, having taken part in this invasion, drew the line at ejecting colleagues into space and executing Ty when killing them all would have been the endgame regardless.

The episode really needed the crew to lock Isaac up and demand answers for all of the above: how much did he know? Why did he change his mind? Instead, THE ORVILLE has taken the view that because Isaac has betrayed every Kaylon, he'll have to side with the Union if only by default and poses no threat. And that makes sense to a degree, but after what happened, it makes no sense for Mercer to allow Isaac to be unguarded with crewmen or for the senior staff to reactivate him. They're treating Isaac like he's Picard after he's been rescued from the Borg assimilation when they should be treating him like Grant Ward on AGENTS OF SHIELD.

Now, Seth MacFarlane is a writer of rare nuance and talent, and I can't imagine him failing to mine all of the above for drama and comedy in future episodes. Perhaps nobody wants to hang out with Isaac next week and Mercer has a security squad guarding him at all times. But it is really odd that Mercer, despite his forgiving nature and understanding, isn't demanding full answers and explanations from Isaac before securing Isaac's spot on the Orville.

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

I agree with all that.  It's also odd that the Union is allowing him to stay under the care of Mercer.  I know things have changed quite a bit since the Pilot, but it's been a year since they essentially gave him a ship because they were doing Grayson a favor.  And because they needed captains.

Now they're letting him hold on to one of the most dangerous "men" in the galaxy?  I get that they trust him more now (and he's earned that), but you gotta think Union command is a little worried that they're letting that guy hold a potential timebomb.

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

I'm suddenly reminded of the TNG episode, "Phantasms," where a malfunctioning Data attacked Troi with a knife and stabbed her bloody and at the end of the episode, Troi paid Data a visit in private and happily sat alone with him to enjoy some cake. I was nine years old when I watched that one and I honestly think that episode stunted my emotional growth and social skills, making me think that violently attacking someone could be easily forgiven and forgotten inside a single hour of TV and as I type this, I am convinced that "Phantasms" made me the sociopath I became in my late teens and early twenties. Strangely, that episode, much like the first part of Isaac's betrayal, was also written by Brannon Braga. I trust Seth MacFarlane will do better.

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

Informant has been sharing videos from that stupid MIDNIGHT’s EDGE YouTube channel that insist DISCOVERY is set in the Kelvin timeline, not the Prime timeline, and that revealing it to be a Kelvin timeline show is part of a plot for Kurtzman to steal the STAR TREK TV rights from CBS and take them to Paramount because Paramount owns the movie rights and the Kelvin timeline — an asinine assertion: CBS owns STAR TREK; they license the movie rights to Paramount; CBS could do a Kelvin show if they wanted and Paramount could do a Prime movie if they wanted.

Anyway. The most recent DISCOVERY episode, “If Memory Serves,” opens with a “Last time on STAR TREK” recap which uses footage from THE ORiGINAL SERIES’ “The Menagerie” two-parter (really the original STAR TREK pilot with a framing sequence). As if to further put MIDNIGHT’s EDGE lies into the ground, DISCOVERY declined to use the remastered, CG-reconstructed for HD version of the TOS episode — they used the original broadcast version of the 60s effects footage.

DISCOVERY declined to (a) refilm the material with the present day sets and actors or (b) explain the visual differences or (c) acknowledge the disconnect at all while (d) definitively declaring which timeline DISCOVERY exists within COULD WE STOP IT WITH MIDNIGHT’s EDGE NOW FOR GOD’S SAKE.

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

I did think that was cool, but I also hated it from a continuity perspective.  It's hard enough to see Ethan Peck as Spock, but now they want us to see Ethan Peck as Spock while also showing Leonard Nimoy as Spock before the episode?  I think Anson Mount has done a good-enough job as the less famous Pike, and I think Peck's Spock is good enough to work.

Getting a follow-up to Talos IV was cool.  It would've been cooler if we didn't get recasted versions of the characters they showed in the episode.

This has been a Slider_Quinn21 Dead Horse Rant. All Rights Reserved.

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

I totally agree with you that it was a mistake to keep DISCOVERY in the 23rd century after the anthology format was discarded. Admittedly, that allowed CBS to renew THE NEXT GENERATION for an eighth season, but still.

However, I think that using the original footage of "The Cage"/"The Menagerie" had a neat effect. They could have reshot those clips with Anson Mount and the DISCOVERY version of the Enterprise and the DISCOVERY version of Talos IV. Why didn't they do it? Initially, I wondered if in the context of DISCOVERY, these clips are Pike's memory of "The Cage." Does he, over time, remember past adventures as though they're 60s pulp sci-fi adventures because he himself is a fan of twentieth century TV and science fiction? Is it that the Talosians, due to their mind-altering powers, cast a sheen over any experiences with their involvement that cause memories to be slightly distorted?

I kept waiting for a line of dialogue to address it much in the way DOCTOR WHO in the last Christmas Special used footage of the First Doctor from "The Tenth Planet" and had a shot of William Hartnell morph into David Bradley as the First Doctor with the Twelfth Doctor commenting, "You're in mid-regeneration, aren't you? Your face -- it's all over the place," explaining the new actor's appearance.

But DISCOVERY declined to do this. Instead, DISCOVERY flash-cut from Jeffrey Hunter's Pike to Anson Mount's Pike and simply asked us to accept that this is a new actor playing the old character. When Michael explores Talos IV, she finds the same singing flowers that Spock did in "The Cage," but the flowers are not blue cardboard on straws seen through a fuzzy cathode ray tube; they look like real flowers made as props, animated with computer generated imagery and presented for a high definition format. In essence, DISCOVERY is wordlessly asking to accept that just as the role of Pike is being played by another actor, the roles of visual effects artists, model builders, costumers, cinematographers, set designers and such are also being played by others -- and asking if we could go along with it.

322 (edited by Grizzlor 2019-03-12 00:06:36)

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

I really don't have a problem with recasting, although I will admit Mount is a doppelganger for Hunter, while Peck/Nimoy and Melissa George/Susan Olliver look nothing alike, ha ha.  Peck's Spock is okay, but like Frain's Sarek, neither are very good at emulating who they are replacing.  However, Ms. Kirschner is very good at Amanda, looks and acts like Jane Wyatt.  That said, it's tough to "emulate" Nimoy or Mark Lenard, as they're sort of actors who were raised and trained in a bye-gone era.

I've given up being furious about continuity changes, although I still HATE the new alien makeup they use on this show.  My issue with the JJ Abrams stuff was that it was BAD.  This show is at least compelling with a TNG-level overload of science.

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

ireactions wrote:

Initially, I wondered if in the context of DISCOVERY, these clips are Pike's memory of "The Cage." Does he, over time, remember past adventures as though they're 60s pulp sci-fi adventures because he himself is a fan of twentieth century TV and science fiction?

In my opinion, this is now canon and the only explanation I will accept smile

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

Grizzlor wrote:

I really don't have a problem with recasting, although I will admit Mount is a doppelganger for Hunter, while Peck/Nimoy and Melissa George/Susan Olliver look nothing alike, ha ha.  Peck's Spock is okay, but like Frain's Sarek, neither are very good at emulating who they are replacing.  However, Ms. Kirschner is very good at Amanda, looks and acts like Jane Wyatt.  That said, it's tough to "emulate" Nimoy or Mark Lenard, as they're sort of actors who were raised and trained in a bye-gone era.

I've given up being furious about continuity changes, although I still HATE the new alien makeup they use on this show.  My issue with the JJ Abrams stuff was that it was BAD.  This show is at least compelling with a TNG-level overload of science.

With the JJ stuff, and even with the earlier Discovery stuff....you can at least pretend this is a different continuity.  When you actually show the older actors and then tell me they're the same person, it ruins the illusion in a much more direct way.

Especially since we saw a "younger" Spock (Nimoy in "The Cage") and a ton of "older" Spock (Nimoy TOS and beyond). And we're supposed to believe that there was a time in between where Spock stopped looking like Leonard Nimoy and started looking like someone else.

This isn't even my main "This show shouldn't be set when it's set" argument.  They could've easily done a Rogue One - type story where they set something during a certain period but focus on (mostly) different characters.  They could've had Michael be raised by another Vulcan and simply reference people like Sarek and Spock and the Enterprise and Pike.  Even if this was simply a "Search for Spock" but never actually showed him (or showed him from afar as a CGI Leonard Nimoy), they could at least pretend that the 60s continuity is happening identically to how it was shown.

But now they've just steered right into it.  It wouldn't surprise me if we got younger versions of Kirk and Uhura and Sulu next season, all ending up working brief stints on the Discovery.

325 (edited by Grizzlor 2019-03-12 12:45:29)

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

I agree they could have avoided the Spock/Sarek family, but that's their tie-in with Pike, I guess.  These are fictional characters, so I don't think it's an absolute that they look exactly the same.  However, the portrayal should at least match, and in the little we've seen of Spock/Sarek that hasn't been the case.  I doubt we'll see young Kirk on this show, ha ha, though you never know about some spin-off!  I personally would love to see an Enterprise mini-series starring Anson Mount, he's been THAT good as Pike. 

I also think it's more than a little obvious the red angel is probably Ms. Burnham, ha ha ha.  Hope I'm wrong, but that's the most likely angle.

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

Grizzlor wrote:

I also think it's more than a little obvious the red angel is probably Ms. Burnham, ha ha ha.  Hope I'm wrong, but that's the most likely angle.

Would that work?  She was able to come back in time to save herself?  I feel like that would be a time anomaly and wouldn't work.

Maybe it's Culber.  It'd make as much sense as him being alive now.


And yeah, I understand that they're fictional characters and that they can be recast, but it's just sorta awkward and something they didn't really need to do.  So far, I haven't noticed any reason why Sarek has to be Sarek and Spock has to be Spock and Pike has to be Pike.  To me, they could've created original characters without having to tiptoe anything.  A friend of me was telling me that it seems like there are only about 5 Vulcans in the universe because Spock and Sarek seem to do so much.\

I mean even if they wanted to do a connection, they could've had it be a relative of Tuvok or even Vorik.  Or someone that isn't from Voyager haha.  Have it be a rival of Sarek's.  Maybe Burnham was a rival of Spock's instead of a sister.  If they want the "ooh, ahh" moments from TOS names, they could still name drop.  And any captain from any ship could've taken over the Discovery.  CBS wanted the name recognition that comes along with casting PIKE and SPOCK and SAREK.

What's strange to me is that they keep reaching back to the TOS era when the people who watched TOS in its original run are all senior citizens now.  You'd think in a time when 80s nostalgia is such a big deal that they'd be trying to connect to TNG more.  At least the people who watched that on its first run can figure out how to get CBS All Access big_smile

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

I think Slider_Quinn21 is right that if DISCOVERY were going to be set entirely in the 23rd century, it would have been best to do it ROGUE ONE style rather than steering straight into TOS.

I think STAR TREK ever since TNG has been little but reverence or deconstruction of TNG. DS9 was an attempt to steer the TNG era into a morally grey area of storytelling, VOY was endless nostalgia for TNG’s format and ENTERPRISE seemed more like a prequel to TNG than TOS. DISCOVERY (and the rebootquels) have been an effort to go back to the original source material and that makes sense with a new team seeking a new take, although it has led to disprepancies and collisions.

However, I liked how “If Memory Serves” used a clip of Spock looking at the singing flowers which were cardboard on painted straws, then later had Michael looking at the same flowers which are now CG augmented props with full animation and floral weight and texture — but both versions of the flower make the same sound effect and we’re asked to consider that they are the same flowers — just seen through a different set of eyes and rendered by a different set of hands.

I understand that to Slider_Quinn21, it’s an inconsistency, but I have never found TOS particularly coherent. In the early episodes, the Enterprise has only one transporter and shuttlecraft don’t exist. Spock is a Vulcanian whose race was conquered by humans. Kirk’s middle initial is R and he works for the United Earth Space Probe Agency / Spacefleet / Space Central / Star Service and the show is set in the 22nd or 28th century. Sometimes, the crew use what look like replicators/food slots, but then there's a cooking staff. Redshirts who get killed off in one episode turn up alive in the next. Time travel is a highly unusual, never-encountered-phenomenon except when the Enterprise routinely goes back in time to observe historical events.

With all that, DISCOVERY showing the Enterprise with more lights and windows and Pike’s uniform having more seams and Klingons having different makeup barely even registers to me.

I only watched TOS in the 90s and 2000s and seeing it alongside TNG, I didn’t see TOS as a documentary or a depiction of a future century that the show couldn’t even number consistently. I saw it as a vivid form of stage theatre adapted to the TV production model with the costumes, sets and effects as an artist’s impressionistic renderings rather than objective reality.

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

ireactions wrote:

I only watched TOS in the 90s and 2000s and seeing it alongside TNG, I didn’t see TOS as a documentary or a depiction of a future century that the show couldn’t even number consistently. I saw it as a vivid form of stage theatre adapted to the TV production model with the costumes, sets and effects as an artist’s impressionistic renderings rather than objective reality.

Yeah, I think this is sorta my point.  Is there really a hunger out there to see more TOS?  My first Trek was TNG as well.  I'd think most people in the key demographic are the same way.  This isn't hunger for more Luke and Han and Chewbacca, whose adventures carried on into the 80s.  I know the TOS movies went into the 90s, but all the aesthetics that they're dealing with are from the show, not the movies.  Otherwise, we'd have the Discovery crew in the red uniforms.

Come to think of it, that era is probably way more ripe for new stories than the one they're currently in.

Did a lot of kids in the 70s and 80s grow up watching TOS reruns?  Even as a Sci-Fi kid, I never really liked the old series - it didn't age particularly well, even during my childhood.  I get wanted to reboot and start over, but is there really a deep hunger from fans to see more adventures of Kirk and Spock?  Did the rebootquels do well because of Kirk and Spock, or were they successful because they told a fun, new Star Trek story?  If JJ and Co. had written the same sort of story about new characters, would those movies had bombed?

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

STAR TREK was a failure in its original airing, hence the budget getting slashed each season. It was TREK's endless syndication in the 70s and 80s that created the massive audience and turned Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura and Chekov into cultural icons. Despite TOS not aging well, they are the most identifiable, recognizable characters in STAR TREK and any new STAR TREK team will engage with the original as a starting point. Any nostalgia would be for them.

I think TNG (really Berman and Braga) stuck around for so long with DS9 and VOY and ENTERPRISE and the movies that there hasn't been enough of an absence for nostalgia to set in. Even now, we have THE ORVILLE.

TOS and TNG are very difficult to mesh which is why the TNG/VOY/ENT stewards kept a lengthy distance from TOS. TOS is a highly technical form of televised stage theatre. TNG was syndicated television. TOS was about drama; TNG was a more technically oriented show, fascinated by Data's mechanics and the functions of the warp engines, and this emphasis on engineering continued to the technobabble-oriented VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE.

With this came the attempt to make the STAR TREK universe a consistent, coherent universe with each episode a window into this coherent fictional setting. TNG had reference books, technical manuals and blueprints released while the show was on the air and used as reference by the creators.

Now, objectively, TNG is just as riddled with inconsistencies as TOS. Data's said to never age only to later mention an aging program; the Enterprise-D's battle readiness varies from week to week; holodeck matter is carried into the hallways except when it can't; Data's cat switches genders.

But TNG's gadget and engine focused dialogue indicated that presenting a consistent, self-referential universe with an exploration of the ship and android's inner workings mattered to this show, and it laid the groundwork for the continuity-concerned television we have today.

TOS wasn't like that. TOS wasn't concerned with continuity or even 'realism'; I don't think the Enterprise looked like a real place even to a 60s audience. It was a vivid, pop art representation telling stories that were a landscape of interpretative vision instead of TNG's (supposedly) rigid, reference-book equipped fictional universe.

TOS was stage theatre on TV and there are always going to be issues when a now self-referential vision of TREK that comes with guidebooks and schematics and a Wikia engages with the original TREK which had Lieutenant Leslie eaten by a cloud monster only to turn up alive next week.

It could be (facetiously) argued that TOS is at fault, not DISCOVERY. TOS is the show that had no concern for building plausible environments in its sets. It's TOS that didn't care about ongoing world-building and week to week consistency. DISCOVERY is valiantly trying to bring continuity to an era that never had very much.

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

Yeah, that all makes sense.  I guess I just don't have much nostalgia for TOS or much of the old series.  I'm much more interested in going forward than continuing to stay in "the past." 

I'm the same way about Star Wars.  They seem obsessed with the same 90 or so years of history, when I'd be much more interested in seeing many other time periods.  In fact, part of the reason I didn't love The Force Awakens was it's seeming obsession with simply recreating the past in the future, when I saw much more possibilities for something new and different.

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

One last thing on Section 31 before I retire this argument.

Did the writers on Discovery even watch the S31 episodes from Deep Space Nine?  Or did someone give them a brief summary, and they ran with it?  I don't know if the Enterprise episodes broke the organization like these episodes are, but this just seems completely lazy.  Just like with some of the other stuff, they could've easily created a separate dark ops department that they could've played around with.  But they wanted the buzzword.

Essentially, everyone on Deep Space Nine looks like an idiot for not knowing about Section 31.

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

Grizzlor wrote:

I also think it's more than a little obvious the red angel is probably Ms. Burnham, ha ha ha.  Hope I'm wrong, but that's the most likely angle.

Correct.  Although, again, I'm not sure how it's possible to use time travel to save yourself.  Their little gambit in the last episode....maybe....because they're actively working to change the timeline.  But if Michael was going to die as a kid, how could she grow up to be the Red Angel and save herself as a child?

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

So it wasn't Michael but Michael's mom.  Pretty cool twist, and I thought Sonja Sohn (from the great series The Wire) was cast perfectly as Michael's mom. 

The time travel stuff is intriguing, and I sorta like the idea of a crazy AI taking over a too-computer-dependent Starfleet.  It might go towards explaining why there's so little AI in the universe, but since this is a prequel, it's hard to take the whole "destroying all sentient life" threat seriously.  The good and bad of doing a prequel, I guess.

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

Potential SPOILERS

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There's speculation that Control/Leland is an origin of the Borg.  Which....meh.

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

According to VOYAGER, the Borg have been active since at least 1484, which means their history must begin even earlier. The TOS era cannot be their origin... although we are talking about a show where Section 31 is a recognized branch of Starfleet in the chain of command instead of a rogue organization unacknowledged by all.

I think DISCOVERY's writers are perfectly aware of the contradictions and decided that the name Section 31 had more weight than Starfleet Intelligence. For better or worse, DISCOVERY got locked into a prequel setting and then decided to introduce contradictions (Klingons looking different, holographic communications, different uniforms, a Starfleet mutineer, Spock having a sister) and then offer an explanation later. The explanations have either been adequate, clumsy or non-existent.

There's no real explanation for the Klingons except the makeup has been toned down a bit and it's possible that the altered Klingons of ENT and TOS were only a small subset of all Klingons. Holographic communications and uniforms have been explained as tech and uniforms being tested on different ships before being distributed across the fleet. Michael's record was expunged so that Spock could say in TOS that there was no record of any Starfleet mutiny. Michael is a source of trauma for Spock so he never discussed her.

And Section 31... well, there will be an explanation but it may be as unconvincing as using clips of "The Cage" in a DISCOVERY episode and wordlessly asking the audience to accept 1966 designs and production as impressionistic memories from an era of television that was more impressionistic and didn't attempt the illusion of objectivity.

The explanation is likely going to be some sort of massive mindwipe at some point along with Control's AI erasing itself and its records from all Starfleet systems, possibly an extension of the memory tech that Section 31 tried to use on Spock or a Talosian using their telepathy.

I wish they had just not called this branch in DISCOVERY Section 31. They could have just called in Starfleet Intelligence and hinted that agents might or might not be 31, but I suspect another reason for the prominence of the name -- they want to set up the title of their new SECTION 31 series.

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

So I watched the most recent episode which features a vision that Pike has of his eventual fate.  I thought they did a pretty great job of recreating the scene that we were told about in The Menagerie, and I thought they did a fairly faithful representation of Pike's life support chamber.

But then I started thinking about the Talos IV recreation.  How they updated the flowers and the Talosians.  How we need to imagine that everything looks the same as it did in the 60s TV show.  And while we usually do a better job of picking apart the aesthetics of TOS, should we be doing the same for TNG?  When we get angry about the technological inconsistencies in Discovery, should we, instead, be retroactively adding those technologies to TNG/DS9/VOY?

The holographic communication makes sense.  It would be a better way of communicating with someone, and it feels like a natural progression of our technology.  If there were truly any issues with it, it would've been fixed in the 100 years between Discovery and the Dominion War.  So when Picard and Sisko and Janeway communicate with viewscreens and PADDs, maybe they were actually communicating on even more advanced holographic communications.  Maybe the Enterprise D was flashier with advanced screens and flashier uniforms.

Maybe the Klingons always looked like this?  Nah...the Klingon stuff still doesn't make any sense.

If we need to look at the 60s episodes with updated 2019 eyes, maybe we should be doing the same with the later sequel series.  It actually kinda makes it exciting.  Each Trek series takes place with their own technology as their lens.  TOS, despite being 200 years in the future, has technology that is laughably behind some of our own technology.  In the same way, some of our technology puts TNG's technology to shame.  So if we're projecting another 30 years to the Trek mythos, how advanced would the Enterprise-D be with another 100 years of advancements?  It's the kind of thing that makes Trek great and how Trek has helped our own technology grow and advance.

At the same time, someone (I think TF) once said that the Trek timeline is a weird version of our own timeline.  The TOS era was the 60s.  The TNG era was the 80s.  If Discovery had been set 100 years after the Dominion War, it could've been our time.  But maybe a new projection makes just as much sense.

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

STAR TREK in the 60s was not concerned with continuity. It was an impressionistic stageplay made for TV. The movies and TNG were trying to step into a more convincing reality in the style of STAR WARS, but even then, the films were riddled with stylistic discrepancies. We somehow went from touchscreens in STAR TREK V (and its redressed TNG sets) to dials and buttons again in STAR TREK VI. Data went from emotional in Seasons 1 - 2 to emotionless in the third year. His male cat later got pregnant. DS9 somehow had the Defiant carrying out the same battle maneuvers against the same ships in multiple episodes (because the creators reused previously aired special effects footage in 'new' battle sequences). VOY had the ship magically repaired every week despite the lack of resources.

However... DISCOVERY is the first STAR TREK show to be garishly impossible to ignore in its inconsistencies, actively flaunting how its visual style is a mismatch for the era in which it's set. It's actively hostile towards the fans in this respect in Season 1. Only with Season 2 did it start layering in visual references to the original series by presenting the same uniforms and flowers and ships in a made-for-HD design, but even then, it's still jarring. DISCOVERY calls attention to discrepancies whereas the other shows made these mismatches incidentally.

Fuller wanted DISCOVERY to have a look reminiscent of "The Cage" with the same colours but modern materials, but after CBS drove him away, they mandated a completely new design for the sets and uniforms and it all spiraled from there.

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

I was a bit busy last week so only caught up with the last two episodes of THE ORVILLE this week. "Sanctuary" was great, taking on a THE NEXT GENERATION type moral conundrum of diplomatic crisis but unlike TNG, "Sanctuary" didn't resolve the entire situation and relieve everyone of their prejudices, instead choosing a resolution that was tentative, compromised and simply an awkward first step towards peace. I really liked that and it was a wonderful correction on TNG's easy moral softballs.

And the episode of Kelly's past self being transported to the present was great. It was interesting to see the episode as a slightly grim reflection on Adrianne Palicki's career. If you strip away Palicki's glamour and profile, ignore the fact that she turns heads at every red carpet event and has retained her face and figure after 16 years and has had notable credits in numerous franchises (SMALLVILLE, GI JOE, SUPERNATURAL, WONDER WOMAN, AGENTS OF SHIELD), Palicki's career is defined largely by failure.

She was the first Supergirl on SMALLVILLE and dismissed after one episode. Her WONDER WOMAN pilot was a trainwreck. She was a corpse on SUPERNATURAL. GI JOE was an underperforming mediocrity and it was the second one in a row for the franchise. She made a much-heralded entrance on SHIELD and proved so popular with the studio that they shifted her character into a leading role for a spinoff and the network passed.

What it comes down to is that it sucks to be a woman in Hollywood because any man as pretty as Palicki and half as talented would have had at least Jerry O'Connell's number of leading roles. Palicki is a leading-class performer: she commands the screen and can carry and share a scene. The only performer with whom she's ever failed to create meaningful chemistry of some sort is Tom Welling. She's commanding and forceful but with a hint of goofiness for Kelly and as Mockingbird on AGENTS OF SHIELD, she played a seemingly invincible character with the cheerful heartlessness of a veteran spy that could be scary.

She's beautiful, but more importantly, she has the physicality to perform in fight scenes and convey astonishing ferocity and ability and when a stunt performer steps in, Palicki can still sell the stunt as her character. And there's a note of reality when Kelly from the past remarks that she is not in a leading role but a subordinate one, has done noteworthy jobs but achieved no overwhelming successes, and she has fallen short of her goals and dreams.

It's at this point that Wil Wheaton would probably say that the majority of performers go their entire careers without having ever played Supergirl or Wonder Woman or a GI Joe or an agent of SHIELD or a starship commander (if not captain) and many performers certainly don't make a living from their craft. Palicki has always found work, and even if the work hasn't made her Angelina Jolie, there is more to life than just one's professional career. While some people achieve overwhelming success in one life-defining area, for Kelly, it's been smaller achievements across a range that add up to a satisfying life. Kelly may not be the captain, but she is a leader, she runs the Orville well, she's made a difference and not everyone needs to be a star to be special.

The ending was disturbing.

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

Yeah I'm very surprised at the ending.  It's just really impressive that the Orville is willing to take chances like that - I realize that it's essentially a 2-part finale, and there's a chance that it'll be just as generic TNG-like Sci-Fi as the Isaac storyline was....but this show is so much more than I thought it would be.  And that's impressive.

I agree about Palicki, though.  I thought the best part of her performance was how convincing she was as younger Kelly.  They felt like two sides of the same coin - the same but very different.  I actually bought for a few minutes that she might play two characters on the show going forward.

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

I didn't want to tack my Discovery thoughts to the back of that, but I had to talk about it.

Sigh.....

So in the end, the writers had nothing.  After getting boxed into a prequel by Brian Fuller, I think the writers realized that they were in trouble.  That they'd gone too far with the prequel changes, and that they didn't have the answers they always promised they did.  To simply write off all the stuff they did with some Starfleet regulation saying "NONE OF THIS HAPPENED OFFICIALLY OR TREASON" is just insane to me.  It's the Trek version of "a wizard did it."

I give them credit for at least doing that.  Or, really, do I?  Is this better than just assuming Spock talked about Michael before and we just never heard it?  That maybe spore drives are everywhere and we just don't know them (maybe Starfleet has a bunch of Discovery-class ships)?  That maybe Michael was eventually pardoned so it wasn't technically a mutiny?

From the limited number of interviews I read after watching the finale, they're going to the future.  Based on the Short Treks (which I was impressed because they had a decent impact on the plot), they'll be about 900-1000 years in the future.  It might be a bit too far in the future to follow the technology curve, but it's better than nothing.  There won't be any more burdens of previous continuity or bringing on someone like Scotty or Kirk.

They can doing their own thing.  Chart their own course.  I think it'll be really good - because I really do think it's a very enjoyable show.  It wouldn't take more than a few cosmetic changes to fix their prequel problems, and if they did that, I think it's easily up there with DS9 as far as quality goes.

I just thought their way of ripping off the bandage was so lazy.

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

It is bizarre to me that THE ORVILLE has made so little of Isaac after his betrayal and how there haven't been any storylines where the crew struggles to trust him again. They also aren't featuring Isaac that much at all; he's barely appeared, he has no character arc when he does appear -- it's almost as though a 14 episode order proved inadequate to fully explore the issue, so rather than show everyone cool with someone plotting their murders sitting at the next workstation, they're just not showing much of the relationships or lack thereof and hoping to address it next year. Maybe a subsequent episode will have Ed talking about how he issued orders that nobody discuss Isaac's betrayal and pretend all is well because he's an asset and how the crew is starting to crack under the strain.

**

I liked the DISCOVERY finale. I thought it was great. I loved the whole season, from Pike discovering his future and choosing to accept it to Tilly's reunion with the Queen and the Michael/Spock conflict and the whole AI plot. The only thing that really bothered me was Section 31.

Regarding continuity: I completely accepted the DISCOVERY version of the Enterprise and I liked how, the way it was presented, it's either a different artistic rendering of the ship we first saw in the 1960s -- or it's a few refits away from the pastel-and-painted-wood aesthetic that will come into style in the subsequent decade. They had the orange-red lining, the gratings in the hallways, the changeable lighting to indicate that it could resemble the pop art look of the original series if a later remodelling made it so.

During my obsession with menswear last year, I noticed how men's suits started out as very large, intricate, busy formalwear for royalty but mass production required simplifying the design and making the clothes large enough to fit multiple body shapes while draping over the body properly. In the 80s, there was a brief burst of popularity for suits that were more tightly fitted, but by the 90s - 2000s, we'd gone back to suits that were like coats compared to the tighter, closer-to-body shapes today. Pierce Brosnan's Bond suit was an outer layer of wool padding. Now the pendulum has swung to Daniel Craig's suits being cut to fit him like a second skin. "The Cage" could have happened during a pastel-popular period only for the shift to metal and lights which was briefly supplanted by a period of retro popularity the way art-deco comes and goes.

Obviously, the onscreen intention is that it's a rendering of the same ship with modern techniques. They've kept the original grating and the shape of the nacelles and the key colour lines but used 3D printing and metal composites instead of plywood and paint. But the door is open to the more literal view of the 23rd century that TNG, DS9 and ENT took when using 60s-style TOS designs.

Another idea reminiscent of my suggestion that Pike is a fan of 1960s sci-fi and remembers all his past adventures as low-budget NBC shows of the era: it's possible that the pop-art and pastels look was a popular visual style for rendering the 23rd century in records and art even if the reality was that it changed around a lot from "The Cage" to DISCOVERY to TOS to the movies.

I don't see why DISCOVERY couldn't have continued to be set in the 23rd century. I didn't take any issue with DISCOVERY trying to fit into the TOS period except that the Enterprise's uniforms should have been used on DISCOVERY from the outset. According to the costume designer, she made multiple versions of the gold/red/blue tunics and all were rejected by CBS as not fitting the aesthetic of the Discovery set (and I assume Fuller wasn't there to fight for it). Costuming them attempted a variant on the ENTERPRISE costumes and that was approved. Later, a fourth variation on her gold/red/blue costumes were approved for Season 2.

I wouldn't say they had "nothing" because I don't even think there was a continuity problem with Michael never being mentioned in TOS. I'm not entirely sure why Alex Kurtzman felt the need to explain it. The explanation has always been there.

In "I, Mudd," there's a scene where Dr. McCoy tells Spock he's suspicious of a new crewman who never smiles, whose conversation never varies from discussing his job, who won't discuss his background -- and Spock regards McCoy silently as McCoy realizes that describes Spock as well.

In "Journey to Babel," the Vulcan ambassador and his wife come aboard the Enterprise, Spock and Kirk greet them and Kirk says Spock will take them on a tour of the ship. The ambassador coldly asks that someone else be their tour guide and starts walking away without a word with his wife behind him.

Kirk, confused, sets it aside for a moment and asks Spock if he'd like to take some time to visit Vulcan and see his parents. Spock reluctantly replies that the ambassador is his father and the ambassador's wife is his mother. Spock is so recalcitrant he wouldn't acknowledge his own dad until forced to do so. Later in the episode, Spock's mother, Amanda, is telling the crew what Spock was like as a child, but then Ambassador Sarek abruptly interrupts the conversation and rudely escorts Amanda away. In private, Sarek quietly asks Amanda to never embarrass Spock (with the quiet undertone that he can't actually make her do anything). Vulcans are notably uncommunicative about personal matters.

Honestly, what really jumped out at me as bizarre was Tyler being "assigned" to Section 31 as its new leader -- what the hell is that? Section 31 is a secret cabal of black-ops agents who either manipulate actual Starfleet officers or win their loyalty based on the belief that eliminating threats to the paradise of the Federation can justify assassination, sabotage and collaborating with villains.

The TrekBBS forum has like 30 - 40 posters who defend this with ranting on about how in DS9, Sloan merely said that Section 31 was covert, not that it wasn't part of Starfleet, and that he never declared 31 outside the chain of command, but their literalism over the specific dialogue misses the obvious authorial intent that 31 is a rogue nation, an unofficial arrangement and a secret guarded through silence.

Anyway. I'm eager to see how DISCOVERY fares now that it can use the multiple-era format that Bryan Fuller envisioned for the show.

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

I don't disagree with any of your points.  I agree that Spock never spoke much about his childhood or family.  That he was appropriately guarded.  That, because of this, he could've had a sister that he loved very much.  I can buy that.

The Section 31 stuff is bad, but I still have a problem with the Spore Drive.  They've revolutionized space travel, and everyone's just going to forget about it?  No one is going to research it again?  The Klingons don't care?  The Romulans?  Hell, Section 31 wouldn't want to recreate it?

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

The spore drive is something that would have bothered me before, but at this point, we've had transwarp beaming and resurrection blood in the Kelvin timeline suppressed and for some reason, Federation ships never have cloaking devices except the Defiant. It's possible that the spore drive is in development but the technology isn't widely used or restricted to secret levels of application. Transwarp beaming could be a security nightmare, harvesting blood from frozen superhumans could be a restriction based on consent and I guess it doesn't really register to me as a problem. I don't disagree that it is one; I've just become deeply desensitized to this sort of thing.

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

Yeah maybe we can buy that Stammets had some sort of unique ability to control it, and only he can do it.  I can see a thousand reasons why Starfleet might stop working on it.  But there are a ton of species that wouldn't have a problem killing thousands of people to get a working spore drive.

I mean it is what it is.  If I can accept all the other changes, I can accept that one.  It's just maddening to completely re-write the rules of space travel in a prequel and then just say no one replicated it for hundreds of years.

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

I'm quite a fan of Sherlock Holmes and my favourite Sherlock Holmes series is THE BOY SHERLOCK, a prequel series by writer Shane Peacock about a 13-year-old Sherlock. He's poor, starving, lonely, scraping by in the gutter, a far cry from the gentleman detective presented in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. In the first book, young Sherlock expects a short and lonely life in London, but when he's falsely accused of murder and on the run as a fugitive, he has no choice but to apply his intellect to clear his own name and then discovers he has a gift for being a detective. As the series progresses, he develops a close relationship with Irene Adler, a young charity worker. He becomes a reluctant frenemy with a street gang leader called Malefactor who leads a group of child criminals called the Irregulars.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, Irene Adler was an American opera singer whom the adult Sherlock Holmes faced off against once in "A Scandal in Bohemia." Malefactor is a term Holmes once used to describe the criminal mastermind Moriarty, whom Holmes is shown to meet only as an adult in "The Final Problem." The Baker Street Irregulars are a term Holmes uses to refer to homeless children whom he employed as spies.

It was unclear how THE BOY SHERLOCK's discrepancies would be reconciled with canon: was Peacock writing an alternate universe? Or was he making use of how the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle are narrated by Holmes' friend Watson who can only relate what Holmes tells him? THE BOY SHERLOCK series relates extremely traumatic experiences that Holmes could have found too painful to share with Watson. The sixth and final book in THE BOY SHERLOCK series, "Becoming Holmes," was in a position where it would have to explain all of this one way or another.

It didn't. "Becoming Holmes" is focused largely on Sherlock solving an extremely personal murder mystery. The continuity issues are not addressed, although Irene does leave for America and Malefactor declares himself Sherlock's mortal enemy. The characterization rang true for a young Sherlock Holmes, but the mismatched details -- they didn't come off as glaring contradictions, the author simply declined to connect the disparate dots, perhaps trying to indicate that life isn't a straight line from prequel to present.

Why will this English version of Irene later present herself as American-born? Why will Holmes deny their childhood friendship in adulthood? How does the street thug Malefactor become the learned Professor Moriarty? Why does Holmes conceal all this from Watson? The reader is left to infer their own answers. "Becoming Holmes" was a good BOY SHERLOCK story, but as the finale, it seemed positioned to bear expectations of tying the continuity together and it didn't even really try. I'm sure Spock has read these books, though, he's a Holmes fan and claims a distant lineage to Arthur Conan Doyle.

There was a point to all this, but I forgot what it was.

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

I think there's a certain sense that readers/viewers have to have about what they're watching.  I took my wife to see Spider-Man: Homecoming, and she was confused (almost certainly sarcastically) because, to her, Tobey Maguire is Spider-Man.  Tom Holland cannot be Peter Parker if Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker.  We all have to understand that, yes, we all met a man named Peter Parker who developed spider powers who looked like Tobey Maguire.  But now there's another young man named Peter Parker who also developed spider powers who looks like Tom Holland.

So I get that.  Christopher Pike can be played by Jeffrey Hunter or Bruce Greenwood or Anson Mount, and we're supposed to go with the fact that the same man has three faces.  Sherlock Holmes has dozens.

The problem with it is that "The Boy Sherlock" seems like a re-imagining of the Sherlock story.  Just like Gotham High - it's not pretending to be a real prequel.  It's telling Batman stories with the backdrop of a high school.

https://d13ezvd6yrslxm.cloudfront.net/wp/wp-content/images/Gotham-High.jpg

(Note: I have no idea why I picked this as my example since it never happened and I've never seen it, but it felt the most appropriate in my head).

The problem with Discovery is that they went out of their way to tell us that this wasn't the Kelvin universe.  That it wasn't it's own thing.  That it took place in the Star Trek universe.  So I think, when you do that, certain care should be taken to make sure things fit.  And in my opinion, that care wasn't taken.  I like the show a lot.  I just wish they'd either taken that requisite care to make things fit better (new actors and all) or set the show so far in its own future that it could essentially be a reboot.  In the same way that TNG/DS9/VOY is essentially a reboot of TOS with how much things are different.

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

I'd have to agree that DISCOVERY in the first season made no effort to square its visual representation with the era in which it claimed to exist. Only with the finale showing the Enterprise and Season 2 bringing in TOS elements did the effort come and as much as I liked it, it made DISCOVERY seem apologetically backpedaling.

**

THE BOY SHERLOCK series is an interesting case: it contradicts the Sherlock Holmes stories, but it *only* contradicts them in areas where creator Arthur Conan Doyle contradicted himself. "A Scandal in Bohemia" features Holmes meeting Irene Adler for the first time and is set in 1888. A later story, "The Five Orange Pips," is set in 1887 -- but Holmes refers to having been defeated by Irene in a previous adventure.

"The Final Problem," set in 1891, has Holmes telling Watson about the evil Professor Moriarty and Holmes meeting the Professor for the first time. But "The Valley of Fear," set in 1888 - 1889, has Holmes and Watson discussing Moriarty well in advance.

"The Gloria Scott" claims that Holmes' first case ever was when he was a university student, but this first case is dated 1885 -- except when Holmes and Watson first met in "A Study in Scarlet," Holmes had long graduated from university and the year was 1881.

THE BOY SHERLOCK doesn't match the canon when it comes to Irene and Holmes' first meeting, Moriarty and Holmes' first encounter or Holmes' origin as a detective -- but the information in the stories in these areas is either contradictory or flat out wrong, and I think writer Shane Peacock was using that to his advantage and declaring that the contradictions are there because Sherlock Holmes was burying the demons and traumas of his past.

And I think it *mostly* worked except there came a point when I felt Peacock needed to be overt in explaining the discrepancies. He needed to present the real events between the adult Irene and Holmes, the conflict between the grown Sherlock and the Malefactor-turned-Moriarty -- and Peacock needed to establish whether or not Watson ever knew these truths.

Instead, Peacock ended THE BOY SHERLOCK series when Sherlock was at 17 -- well before the timeline could address these events and 11 years before Holmes and Watson would first meet. Yes, there's over a decade for the BOY SHERLOCK characters to become the Arthur Conan Doyle versions and yes, the reader can imagine how they go from points A to B -- but by ending where he did, Peacock never offered his own answers to questions he raised, and it'll always bother me. DISCOVERY did provide answers.

(A gag order on the name Michael Burnham. Maybe we were better off with the questions?)

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Yeah I'm very surprised at the ending.  It's just really impressive that the Orville is willing to take chances like that - I realize that it's essentially a 2-part finale, and there's a chance that it'll be just as generic TNG-like Sci-Fi as the Isaac storyline was....but this show is so much more than I thought it would be.  And that's impressive.

I agree about Palicki, though.  I thought the best part of her performance was how convincing she was as younger Kelly.  They felt like two sides of the same coin - the same but very different.  I actually bought for a few minutes that she might play two characters on the show going forward.

SPOILERS























I thought the ORVILLE finale was great! I thought it really underlined how Kelly's contributions and victories may be small and low key and not the equivalent of commanding a starship, but they have vital and critical value. The timeline in the finale with the Kaylon having destroyed Earth and biological civilization was very stirring especially in what went unsaid. Kelly says that Ed was the reason the Kaylon failed to take over, and she has no way of realizing that it isn't true. The reason the Kaylon invasion failed: Isaac formed a romantic relationship with Dr. Finn and a father-son relationship with Ty and Marcus. The reason Isaac formed that bond: Kelly encouraged Dr. Finn to date Isaac while being aware of the risks.

Without Kelly to encourage Claire Finn to take a chance on her feelings, Isaac never developed his sympathy for humanity and never switched sides. Kelly's small acts of kindness saved us all and even as she went about setting time right, she had no idea that her kindness and friendship were the missing link.

It is beautiful.

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

Yeah, I thought it was great too.

I hope the series gets renewed.

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

Definitely worried about the ratings with this one and how it impacts its chances.  In the end, live viewing, especially on network shows, so often requires such stupid subject matter...  911/hospital/detective stuff.

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

If it does get axed, I hope someone (Netflix, Hulu, maybe even something like Disney+) picks it up.  It's too good to lose.

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

If it does get axed, I hope someone (Netflix, Hulu, maybe even something like Disney+) picks it up.  It's too good to lose.

Yea, I hope so.  I think FOX may have an exclusive with Seth MacFarlane though so not sure what options they'd have or who owns Orville (might be FOX).  Also Fox/Disney own a lot of Hulu, so maybe that'd be an option.

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

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:
Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

If it does get axed, I hope someone (Netflix, Hulu, maybe even something like Disney+) picks it up.  It's too good to lose.

Yea, I hope so.  I think FOX may have an exclusive with Seth MacFarlane though so not sure what options they'd have or who owns Orville (might be FOX).  Also Fox/Disney own a lot of Hulu, so maybe that'd be an option.

Seth ironically has almost nothing to do with Family Guy anymore, except the voice acting.  His baby is The Orville.  I'd be shocked if they ax it.

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

Well, ORVILLE is getting a third season. No episode count as of yet.

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

Yes!  That's great news.

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

David Goodman, in an interview, said he felt there had been no consequences for Isaac's betrayal and return in Season 2 and that it'd be a priority for Season 3.

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

Yeah, I agree.  I feel like that was strange.  They kept talking about the Kaylon, but you're right - they barely even featured Isaac after that.  I wonder if they didn't know where to go with that, or if they didn't want that to take over the whole show.

I wonder if they should've had Isaac sacrifice himself.  The Kaylon could've still been a threat, but they wouldn't have had to deal with the consequences.

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

I'm betting it's because they had a shorter season than most shows and ran out of time and space to address it. Dan Harmon in his COMMUNITY audio commentaries says that he was always shocked get to the end of Seasons 5 - 6 and realize that he only had 13 episodes and had been so consumed with GI JOE parodies and DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS sequels that he'd forgotten to address Jeff's career as a teacher in Season 5 or tell an Annie-centric story in Season 6.

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

Awhile ago, I posted about how our world has gone crazy and we desperately need the sliders back. We need Quinn's cool under fire. We need the Professor's wisdom and perspective.

When watching the STAR TREK: PICARD trailer, I realized that while I will always want Professor Arturo to come back, I suppose I could settle for Jean Luc Picard and his diplomacy in the face of savagery, his steadiness when faced with madness, his diligence in response to threat and his ability to find common ground and offer understanding, negotiation and enlightenment that turns enemies into friends and danger into unity and teamwork.

I need the Professor. But I could be alright if our Captain came back.

**

THE ORVILLE is moving to Hulu! Makes sense. It's an niche product.

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

Man, the Picard trailer awoke something in me too.  And the inclusion of Seven of Nine was a total shock to me.  I feel like, moreso than Discovery, the Picard people are going to have fun playing in the post-Nemesis sandbox.

I was also shocked to see Brent Spiner, who wanted so desperately to get away from Data in the end.  Although my video buffered a bit at that part so maybe it was a CGI re-creation of Brent Spiner.  He looked otherworldly.

*********

I also agree that Orville to Hulu makes sense.  I'm hoping they can do some fun stuff now that they're streaming-only, and I hope the budget doesn't suffer because of it.

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

I don't remember VOYAGER. Was Seven acting human and being casual and pleasant by the end?

**

My read on Spiner: he loves Data. He loves playing him. However, over the course of seven seasons, he aged. It's not noticeable if you're watching the show week to week because Spiner fills out gradually. The lines in his face deepen over the course of a year. The human memory always takes the present day face and puts it on top of your memories unless the changes are sudden like David Boreanaz suddenly thirty pounds heavier on ANGEL (because he was having knee problems and couldn't exercise) or Jerry O'Connell suddenly having a sun-tan and very short hair. This bothered Spiner because even though he was a healthy man, he viewed Data as a childlike figure. He didn't like how he was playing a very innocent, naive character when physically, he was clearly a middle-aged adult. He felt he couldn't sell the character anymore.

Onscreen, Data looks like a man in makeup with very subtle but narrative body language to indicate his artificiality and it's really the performance that makes him seem like an android instead of an actor with an altered skin tone and contact lenses. The performance can always be maintained, but the character benefits from a youthful appearance that Spiner couldn't offer anymore. He felt he couldn't do his job properly and that was why he didn't want to be onscreen as Data anymore.

It looks like PICARD has solved the problem. I have guesses: one is that Data is a CG creation and Spiner is providing the voice in post. My second and more plausible guess is that Spiner is on-set in some form of the makeup with tracking dots all over his face. Then in post, his body is slimmed. His skin is buffed to remove any signs of aging. My third guess is that Spiner's on set so that Stewart can perform with him, and then he's performing the scene again in a special effects bay with a tracking suit and dots to map his expressions and movements to a CG model. My fourth guess is that a body double is playing Data on set with his face and voice replaced afterwards with Spiner's face recorded separately, edited to remove his age and weight and grafted onto the double. My fifth guess is that it's some combination of all of the above depending on the scene.

Data doesn't look realistic, but given that Data is an artificial being, it works for Data to look synthetic.

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

ireactions wrote:

I don't remember VOYAGER. Was Seven acting human and being casual and pleasant by the end?

I found that alarming as well.  She definitely wasn't that casual.  But depending on when Picard is set, it's plausible that she's had a chance to let loose.  She ends up dating Chakotay by the end so she's definitely embracing a life outside of her role on the ship, but my guess is that once she gets off Voyager and outside of a duty-based environment, she'd loosen up a bit.  Being on Voyager probably felt a bit like being on a Borg cube at times so it would've been hard to fully embrace her humanity (like learning a language in a classroom).  Being on Earth (or wherever she ends up) would be more like learning a language while living in a country that speaks that language.  Her gains would be bigger.

That being said, again, I found it to be alarming.  She definitely hadn't spoken like that on Voyager.

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

Well, Jeri Ryan is a great actress. I think? I’m hoping this isn’t another Danielle Panabaker situation where I’ve vastly overestimated someone based on a fond memory that’s wrong. Although I have no fond memories of Seven, but the actress seemed good.

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

ireactions wrote:

I’m hoping this isn’t another Danielle Panabaker situation

lol, what?

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

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

Danielle Panabaker is an actress I grew up with and I really liked her on THE FLASH. However, Slider_Quinn21 mentioned a movie she'd been in, TIME LAPSE, where she wasn't very good. I watched it and realized that Danielle Panabaker:

(a) has been performing with the same empty-headed, blank stare since I was in grade school
(b) performs the majority of her scenes in SKY HIGH, READ IT AND WEEP and THE FLASH with a scene partner
(c) lacks the ability to carry or lead a scene on her own

She was playing a traumatized woman on THE FLASH, so her vacant gaze worked there, but basically, Slider_Quinn21 ruined Panabaker for me and now, every time I say I think an actress is good when I don't personally know them or haven't recently reviewed their work, I get nervous.

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

Seven was a terrible character, poorly written, but Jeri was dating a producer so you know how that goes.  I have to say, the one line in the trailer she had was actually GOOD.  I would love a non-Borgish Seven, who you would assume after 20 years almost would have figured out how to act more human. 

Spiner is old and fatter!  He's made jokes about playing Data at his age making no sense, as Androids don't age or gain weight.  Yet there he is.  I have to assume he's in a flashback only. 

Picard looks both intriguing and potentially wretched at the same time.  I mean, ehhhhh, it really sounds like something out of the MCU. 

Meanwhile Discovery has been pushed 1000 years into the future, so there's that.

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

Grizzlor wrote:

Seven was a terrible character, poorly written, but Jeri was dating a producer so you know how that goes.  I have to say, the one line in the trailer she had was actually GOOD.  I would love a non-Borgish Seven, who you would assume after 20 years almost would have figured out how to act more human.

Ugh, here I go again.

I don't think Seven was a terrible character or poorly written.  I also think that Jeri, while she might've been hired for, ahem, other reasons, is a very solid actress.  I've seen her in a number of things and don't think this is a Danielle Panabaker situation.

The problem with Seven wasn't so much that she was poorly written.  It was that the show, itself, wasn't very well written, and essentially every season that she was on was *very* Seven-heavy.

I think she's actually a pretty great character, following the great Trek tradition of trying to understand what it is to be human.  That archetype (previously used with Data and Spock) was probably supposed to be used on the Doctor (another character I really like), but obviously, they decided to go another way with that.  Seven is an interesting character because instead of searching for her humanity, she often runs from it.  I think she feels that her Borg side protects her, and she's afraid of her frail, human side.

If Seven was poorly written, it was because she ended up being the main character on a show that's supposed to be an ensemble.  She was Michael Burnham before Michael Burnham, and she was overexposed by writers that, for the most part, didn't know what they were doing.  But I think she's one of the best ideas for a character in Trek history.  And even considering the Voyager writing staff, I think she's one of the most interesting characters in Trek.

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

Grizzlor wrote:

playing Data at his age making no sense, as Androids don't age or gain weight.  Yet there he is.  I have to assume he's in a flashback only.

None of that is necessarily true. Spiner might have aged, but Data in the trailer looks young (through the magic of CGI). I think it's pretty clear that Data is going to be a computer generated character. The only uncertainty is the degree to which Data will be CGI.

Is Spiner only doing the voice and some motion capture? Is Spiner performing on-set and receiving digital makeup and body modification to make him look young and slim? Is a different actor playing Data on set with Spiner performing the same scenes in a VFX bay for his face and voice to be added on top?

The thing about Data is that the character as we know him was not really based in technical trickery or special effects. You could tell it was a man in makeup; you could see the lines in Spiner's face, the bags under his eyes. It was the body language and demeanor that made Data seem artificial.

Spiner had a peculiar movement system that subtly implied mechanical calculation. He had a crisp, abrupt, machinelike approach to human mannerisms and behaviours from eye contact to speech. His voice was an extremely pleasant exercise in perfect neutrality, neither happy nor sad but certainly curious and innocent. Data was one of the first depictions of artificial intelligence where the intelligence was an accommodating, endearing personality. Every child wanted their own Data to play with them, to explore the world with them, to protect them. There is something bizarre and sweet about how Picard, who is Data's boss, spent a lot of time having boyish and innocent adventures with Data, going fishing and playing detectives.

A lot of what made Data so special was unique to Spiner; at times, body doubles were hired for episodes where Spiner played multiple roles. These body doubles often walked stiffly or moved with harsh intensity, completely missing Spiner's subtle indicators. Jonathan Frakes once remarked, "You don't realize how subtle and brilliant Brent Spiner's performance is until you see someone else doing it -- badly."

I wouldn't want Data to be the product of CG artists. He should start with Spiner and the CG team should go from there.

It's at this point that I am forced to confess something that I feel may be a betrayal. I miss Quinn Mallory. I need Quinn Mallory. But I could probably carry on if Data came back.

I think the simplest explanation for Data's return if they're not bringing him back to life: he's a holodeck program. And if the show is about Picard dealing with old age, it's very important that Data look young.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
Grizzlor wrote:

Seven was a terrible character, poorly written, but Jeri was dating a producer so you know how that goes.  I have to say, the one line in the trailer she had was actually GOOD.  I would love a non-Borgish Seven, who you would assume after 20 years almost would have figured out how to act more human.

Ugh, here I go again.

I don't think Seven was a terrible character or poorly written.  I also think that Jeri, while she might've been hired for, ahem, other reasons, is a very solid actress.  I've seen her in a number of things and don't think this is a Danielle Panabaker situation.

The problem with Seven wasn't so much that she was poorly written.  It was that the show, itself, wasn't very well written, and essentially every season that she was on was *very* Seven-heavy.

I think she's actually a pretty great character, following the great Trek tradition of trying to understand what it is to be human.  That archetype (previously used with Data and Spock) was probably supposed to be used on the Doctor (another character I really like), but obviously, they decided to go another way with that.  Seven is an interesting character because instead of searching for her humanity, she often runs from it.  I think she feels that her Borg side protects her, and she's afraid of her frail, human side.

If Seven was poorly written, it was because she ended up being the main character on a show that's supposed to be an ensemble.  She was Michael Burnham before Michael Burnham, and she was overexposed by writers that, for the most part, didn't know what they were doing.  But I think she's one of the best ideas for a character in Trek history.  And even considering the Voyager writing staff, I think she's one of the most interesting characters in Trek.

I am prepared to accept this opinion on Seven as it comes from the primary, premier (and only) fan of VOYAGER. I'm assuming. I have literally never heard anyone else speak fondly of the show. Let's trust him.

While I have a lot of issues with Brannon Braga, he seems like a decent guy these days. I feel safe to assume that Braga and Ryan dated each other and kept their love and professional lives separate. Ryan was hired before she and Braga dated. Seven was going to be a major character even if Braga were a eunuch, so dating Braga had no impact whatsoever on Seven's role. If Braga were predatory towards her or abused his position, I think it would have come out when Ryan also detailed Kate Mulgrew being harassing and abusive.

I've heard horrible things about Braga being unprofessional during script meetings and interviews. I've also heard Braga immediately confess all of these things and apologize to the people involved, admitting that he was arrogant and also didn't understand that his job and his attitude could hurt people's feelings. His work on VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE has been trashed by fans and Braga has appeared in the comments to apologize to them as well. Braga and Paramount TV mutually agreed to demote him for Season 4 of ENTERPRISE, but when the Season 4 team needed a script urgently rewritten to be filmable, Braga accepted the job graciously, happy to be basically be an intern on the show he used to run.

His stewardship of STAR TREK was poor, but he seems to have come into his own with THE ORVILLE as a staff writer where instead of the organizational and administrative work that clearly sapped his creativity, he's part of the team. He wishes he hadn't been a Jerry O'Connell level jerk and that he'd done a better job and he's taken a another massive demotion and will try to do better now. I can identify with that.

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

Voyager is the stepchild of the Trek franchise, and I've never really understood why.  I think the main reason is that it came on the heels (and during) Deep Space Nine.  While I'll defend Voyager, I don't think Voyager is in the same class as DS9.  But DS9 was doing things that very few TV shows at the time were willing to do.  It set the gold standard for Sci-Fi for a long time (probably even now), and it accomplished things that no Trek show did before or since.

I don't think it's fair to compare Voyager and DS9.  I also don't really think it's fair to compare DS9 to TNG, Enterprise, or TOS.  Fans saw what Trek could be in DS9, and when Voyager (and Enterprise) went back to the "story of the week" well with no sense of long-term story or continuity, people didn't like it.  But I think Voyager is of a similar-enough quality as TNG or TOS.  I think all three series have high points surrounded by a sea of episodes that are just okay.

The big difference between TNG and Voyager is that the highs are much higher when it comes to TNG.  Maybe the lows aren't quite as low as Voyager.  Voyager never had a moment like the end of part one of "Best of Both Worlds." TNG never had an episode quite as bad as something like "Threshold"

I think characters also come into it.  If you were to rank the characters, you'd get through most of TNG's core cast before you ever got to someone like Harry Kim or Chakotay.  Wesley Crusher might be the only character as poorly written as Voyager's worst, and even he has a complete arc for the series.  Riker is more compelling than anything Chakotay ever did.  LaForge is more interesting than Torres.  Geordi and Data are more fun than Tom and Harry.

I think the Doctor is more fun than Dr. Crusher, but Data is more interesting than the Doctor ever was.  Even having a trueblood Vulcan on the show wasn't all that interesting.

It sucks because I think the characters had potential.  There was no reason to make any of the characters on Voyager Maquis because the show never seemed to have any intention of playing that part out.  If they'd stuck with that, Chakotay could've been an interesting character.  Paris could've been interesting if they'd made him Nick Locarno or played up his criminal background.  Torres as a half-human, half-Klingon has a ton of interesting things they could work with.  Even Harry Kim as an ensign on his first-ever crew assignment had potential.

There were ideas there.  And every once in a while, they'd play up those ideas.  And I think Voyager came up with a handful of really great episodes.  Timeless, Year of Hell, Living Witness, and Scorpion can hold their own.

When it was bad, it was bad.  But I think the same happened with TNG.  The only difference is that, when an episode of TNG was bad, at least you got Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner.  When Voyager was bad, you just got Garrett Wang.

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

I like Voyager more now than I did when it was 1st run.  It is better if you haven't seen previous Star Treks.  The problem is similar to Sliders in that strong 1st season, then the show just gets lost in yr 2,  the diffrence of course Star Trek Voyager had higher stakes being a Paramount show needed to launch the network. The Borg for what it is worth defined the show, 7 of 9 was a definite improvement and very much needed with the blandest crew in Star Treks history.

As said, a show that should be majorly crew driven with the lost in space element, had the blandest crew, they had a Vulcan, but he did little on most episodes, they had Nelex but he was mostly annoying like having Screach from saved by the bell as part of the crew, same with Chakotay, a great idea, the Indian spirits and Marquis Captain should of been cool idea but they could never make it work.

ILL give Voyager credit in that it being self contained does help it repeat better than ds9

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

sliders5125 wrote:

ILL give Voyager credit in that it being self contained does help it repeat better than ds9

This is very true.  There's a channel that plays all five Trek series on certain nights (every night?) that I flip passed sometimes.  And I'll be honest, I'm more likely to stop when it's a Voyager or TNG episode than a DS9 one.  While the quality of the DS9 episode is almost certainly going to be higher, their storylines are much more complex.  And if I'm literally watching a random episode, I have to remember a handful of things to really enjoy what's going on?  Who's controlling the station?  Is this where Dukat is pretending to be Bajoran?  What's happening with the Dominion? 

With Voyager or TNG, it's just watching an hour of sci-fi fun.  And if I'm literally just looking for something to watch, I don't want to have to bring up Memory Alpha to remember exactly what's going on on DS9 smile

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

I am reasonably sure that STAR TREK was referred to as the McDonalds of science fiction long before VOYAGER, but with VOYAGER, it became true. My issue with VOYAGER is that despite numerous fine episodes, on the whole, it's executing the TREK formula without much spirit or innovation or personality from its creators.

VOYAGER tells its stories functionally, but for a story to be good, it has to have something to say. A point about human nature or the futility of war or fears of machine automation or obsession or military conflict. The original series and TNG often said incredibly stupid things about these subjects, but they said something.

VOYAGER is largely following the fast food recipe and I think that TREK as mass-produced fast food hamburger rubs the audience the wrong way. TOS was vivid pop-art. TNG had Shakespearean level actors with humour and humanity. DS9 was dark and politically challenging. VOYAGER is a McDonalds hamburger and not even a Big Mac. It's the junior cheeseburger from the kids menu and ENTERPRISE for three seasons was like a half-microwaved White Castle.

I'm not knocking the role that fast food burgers have in our lives; sometimes, you need a junior cheeseburger or a White Castle. But I don't think you need 45 of them, one per minute, every week, for ten years. And I think it's offensive when creativity is reduced to executing a formula and nothing else.

Whatever DISCOVERY's faults, it has a perspective, it has values, it has meaning. The first season is about questioning Starfleet's ideals during a time of war. The second is about reconciling with the inevitable whether those inevitabilities are a doomsday prophecy or making DISCOVERY sync up with TOS. There's plenty to criticize, but I couldn't and wouldn't try to sum up DISCOVERY by looking at the McDonalds menu.

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

ireactions wrote:

...and ENTERPRISE for three seasons was like a half-microwaved White Castle.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/pix.iemoji.com/images/emoji/apple/ios-12/256/face-with-tears-of-joy.png

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

I like enterprise season 1 and 2, yes boring television but most episodes can be watched with the kids, Xindi season was mainly awful, season 4 was an improvement, but 3 to 4 part episodes are apain to watch.

The thing Enterprise has going for it, was from day 1 likeable cast, crew was more believable in job they had.

Bacula made an horribly written character likeable most of the time.

The episodes mostly are not just rehashes, of old trek whereas Voyager was just take old tng episodes and revamp them.

Also, Entsrprise did a good job of leaving you wanting more, where as Voyager you were thankful the ride was over.


Their is intresting how much a trek you can watch with your kids is more important to me, I fell in love with Trek at an early age with original Trek, yet I cant let my young kids watch Discovery.


Very much a miscalculation in my mind, same with The Orville no reason to not just keep it PG and get bigger audience, older folks don't care, and not everyone wants the dark show Discovery has become.

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

Why is Jerry on the PICARD panel in Hall H?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJN3XjJ_4I

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

ireactions wrote:

Why is Jerry on the PICARD panel in Hall H?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJN3XjJ_4I

They combined all Trek into one panel this year.  Jerry is a voice actor on the Lower Decks animated comedy coming to the CBS app - he’ll be voicing Commander Ransom

https://io9.gizmodo.com/there-was-almos … 1836392106

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

sliders5125 wrote:

I like enterprise season 1 and 2, yes boring television but most episodes can be watched with the kids, Xindi season was mainly awful, season 4 was an improvement, but 3 to 4 part episodes are apain to watch.

Please don't watch shows you find boring. You deserve better.

I recall Temporal Flux and I enjoying the ENTERPRISE pilot and then neither of us being able to keep watching the show. It wasn't holding our interest. Can't speak to whether or not TF ever came back to ENTERPRISE.

When I heard that Season 3 had improved halfway through with the coming of Manny Coto, I got caught up by reading Wikipedia entries and watching only the episodes that didn't seem like another rote runthrough of the TREK fast food formula. Season 3 in the second half is a quantum leap forward for the series. Season 4 is also really good except for the finale which Braga describes as being so awful that the usually mild-mannered Scott Bakula lost it on Braga.

Braga, in interviews, described how he had wanted ENTERPRISE to spend half a season on Earth building the ship and for the ship to be primitive, but Paramount wanted a TNG situation ASAP. Chris Black, however, remarked that Black had been on enough shows to see that it's up to a showrunner to FIGHT for the series they want (and he's plainly speaking of Bill Dial and Keith Damron). In Black's opinion, Braga didn't really fight for his show and viewed himself as middle management.

TemporalFlux wrote:
ireactions wrote:

Why is Jerry on the PICARD panel in Hall H?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zdJN3XjJ_4I

They combined all Trek into one panel this year.  Jerry is a voice actor on the Lower Decks animated comedy coming to the CBS app - he’ll be voicing Commander Ransom

https://io9.gizmodo.com/there-was-almos … 1836392106

Response #1: That's cool!

Response #2: Jerry O'Connell is screwing with me. He knew that Picard and Data's return could allow me to finally let go of the Professor and Quinn, so naturally, he makes sure that the face of Quinn Mallory is the FIRST THING I see when I open up the Hall H video.

Response #3: That's cool and Jerry O'Connell doesn't know I exist and we should keep it that way.

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

I am interested in how both Voyager and Enterprise seemed to go out of their way to not take advantage of their distinguishing characteristics.  Voyager too-rarely focused on the fact that the ship was trying to get home - the fact that they're stranded in the Delta Quadrant comes up in dialogue but there's never really a sense that it's any more of a problem than the Enterprise was ever in on their weekly missions.  Enterprise, despite being set on a series a couple hundred years before Voyager, did a lot of the same things from the episodes I saw.

As many people have said many times before, committing to Voyager being stranded could've made Voyager a really unique and fascinating show.  All of the characteristics were there to be great - especially the idea at the beginning that Voyager was a technologically superior ship in the Delta Quadrant.  No one else had torpedoes or replicators.  So could Voyager withstand a long journey where they're the most powerful ship in the quadrant but unable to make major repairs or really replenish their weaponry?  It'd make great drama for Janeway to know that she could win any battle with a torpedo or two but knowing that she might need them more later.  Or to be in a situation where they probably need to stop and make repairs but knowing that they can't afford to stop.

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I am interested in how both Voyager and Enterprise seemed to go out of their way to not take advantage of their distinguishing characteristics.  Voyager too-rarely focused on the fact that the ship was trying to get home - the fact that they're stranded in the Delta Quadrant comes up in dialogue but there's never really a sense that it's any more of a problem than the Enterprise was ever in on their weekly missions.  Enterprise, despite being set on a series a couple hundred years before Voyager, did a lot of the same things from the episodes I saw.

All of this is from the two-volume oral history of STAR TREK, called THE FIFTY YEAR MISSION. Braga's pretty frank and some of this is my criticism of his own remarks about himself.

Braga was an intern when he got his first writing job on STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION. It was his first professional sale, his first staff position. He became a producer and a showrunner, but the problem, from my perspective: he never learned how to write ANYTHING other than the idiosyncratically structured scripts that would fall within Gene Roddenberry's bizarre content restrictions (no drama, no conflict), restrictions that were largely maintained even after Roddenberry died.

Also, Braga's writing skills: he wrote brilliant high concept episodes of mental confusion and temporal dissonance. What he did not write were character arcs, ruminations on society and human nature, reflections on the world around him. There's a place for that in STAR TREK, but STAR TREK also has to offer thought provoking social commentary and satirical introspection. Braga's stories, when they're not about his high concepts, are about STAR TREK and that in itself isn't really meaningful.

Braga only knew STAR TREK and when he moved to VOYAGER, he ran the show so as to keep telling the extremely limited palette of stories he knew how to tell -- shipbound adventures contained within an episode. As he took over more responsibility for all scripts, his limitations in shepherding other writers became clear: too many ENTERPRISE episodes feature pointless escape-capture chase scenes to stretch out the length.

Braga's organizational skills were also suspect. Writers have described how he would tell them to throw forward their ideas, he'd disappear into privacy, and then come out with assignments. When the first drafts came in, he would personally rewrite all of them into what he viewed as an appropriate template for TREK and fell within Roddenberry's restrictions. Not only were Braga's skills unable to rewrite scripts into effective pieces of drama, the process was exhausting for him and he was not producing his best work in these circumstances. He didn't know how else to work. No one had ever taught him.

One writer, Michael Piller, had a very similar approach to screenwriting. However, Piller thrived on rewriting people's scripts, he had an open submission policy for ideas on his show THE DEAD ZONE and would then personally redraft every episode's screenplay with his themes and character arcs of choice. When Piller got sick and couldn't rewrite anymore, THE DEAD ZONE's third, fourth and fifth seasons featured what were seemed to be first draft scripts unrefined by any showrunner.

Braga was no Piller. At the end of the day, Braga's rewrites were to move scenes to standing sets, to pad out length with repetitive action and dialogue or to remove anything that might offend the deceased Roddenberry's sensibilities. He never learned how to do anything else. Why didn't he leave? I think it's hard for someone to come from nowhere and nothing to running STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION and STAR TREK VOYAGER and think you'll ever find another job as good as that. I guess he stayed for the money and because he fell in love with Jeri Ryan.

Braga was also a little spineless. He plotted out a grand origin story for ENTERPRISE, half a season of building the first Earth starship ever -- and folded the second Paramount pushed for the ship to leave spacedock in the Pilot. Now, it seems to me that setting THIRTEEN EPISODES on Earth trying to build a starship is something you need to fight for or your show is just empty product filling a timeslot. And if Paramount fired him for his refusal, SO WHAT? What show wouldn't be happy to hire Brannon Braga? (As a staff writer. Let's not go nuts.)

Around the time INSURRECTION came out, Leonard Nimoy was asked why the response was so tepid, if STAR TREK was dated and tired and irrelevant and should be laid to rest. Nimoy shrugged. My response would be: it was RICK BERMAN AND BRANNON BRAGA'S STAR TREK that was dated and tired and irrelevant. For too long, the franchise was entirely too synonymous with two men who were excellent for the syndicated market of THE NEXT GENERATION. Berman let Ira Steven Behr do his thing on DS9, but when Berman was personally involved in a show and had Braga working with him, their results were tired and staid. Braga didn't know how to run a show. Braga's excellence on THE ORVILLE, I think, speaks for itself. He's a brilliant writer. A great talent. His apologies for his past behaviour and his writing are also revealing. He has a great heart and he was a very crappy and troubled and insecure man who has become a better one.

Showrunning is not for everyone and it was not for Brannon Braga. Or David Peckinpah. Or Bill Dial.

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

Some more info on the Lower Decks cartoon Jerry will be in.  The crew’s mission is something we haven’t really seen before - they initiate second contact.  After the Enterprise or another ship has found something new and extended the hand of the Federation, the crew in this series comes in to make good on the promise and start building an actual relationship with the new culture.

https://trekmovie.com/2019/08/06/stlv19 … and-canon/

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

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EBfkepSXoAAKswy?format=jpg&name=small

If anybody was a watcher of DS9, you MUST get Ira Steven Behr's What We Left Behind documentary.  It's amazing!

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

That's pretty awesome! Thanks for backing that, Grizzlor.

Meanwhile, some of us are still watching CHAOS ON THE BRIDGE on streaming and mean to get around to watching THE CAPTAINS someday.

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

ireactions wrote:

That's pretty awesome! Thanks for backing that, Grizzlor.

Meanwhile, some of us are still watching CHAOS ON THE BRIDGE on streaming and mean to get around to watching THE CAPTAINS someday.

Don't remember if I saw Chaos but Captains was pretty good, Shatner is a good interviewer.  All of the actors retold their early career moments quite well, especially Kate.

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

This came across my Google recommendations.  Been a long time since I watched through DS9, but seeing this through today’s eyes was interesting.  Even the language is close - Sanctuary City vs Sanctuary District.

https://www.themarysue.com/star-trek-de … redictive/

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

TF's thoughts take me back to something TF once said (how circular!). TF remarked that people when conceiving alt histories for SLIDERS can get overly fixated on looking at the past to find an alternate present. Instead, alt histories and parallel Earths work best, TF said, by looking at the future, looking at where the world might be going and having the parallel Earth reflect some imagining of what is to come. TF pointed out that the hotline to report suspicious activity in "Summer of Love" is now a reality, that a shock jock becoming President in "Young and the Relentless" isn't far from reality, that abandoning a city to a natural disaster in "El Sid" is an extreme representation of certain parts of the States and that good science fiction is facing what might becoming next.

I do hope STAR TREK will continue to offer us comfort in troubled times, not necessarily through familiarity of format and formula, but in assuring us that we have infinite capacity for good within us and that it is possible that our best will prevail. I know Captain Picard and Data coming back can't promise us that things will work out just as Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo's returns alone would not save us. But they can tell us that it's possible for our world to be better. That we can still do it. That would be enough.

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

I have a shocking confession to make: I never finished watching ENTERPRISE.

The third season was a mess for the first half, opening with a nonsensical attack on Earth from the Xindi who were testing their planet annihilating weapon (and were so polite as to give Earth fair warning a year before they planned to destroy it totally!?!?). But as the season progressed, Season 3 dived away from NEXT GENERATION style single-episode stories and fully into an ongoing arc. As ENTERPRISE examined Starfleet ideals versus the horrors of an impending war, ENTERPRISE seemed to finally find a voice in showing STAR TREK's ideals being built before our eyes instead of existing as a settled state of affairs. New showrunner Manny Coto was a godsend.

Season 4 was also great, offering eight STAR TREK movies with its multi-episode stories. The first dealt with the Temporal Cold War and the shadow of the Nazis that the original series had always faced. The second addressed genetic engineering and attempted to give all the characters personalities as opposed to defining them by their jobs. We saw Trip, Mayweather and Phlox going to a bar on Earth! We saw the bridge crew playing basketball together! Season 4 was far too late to fully define them in an episode or two, but ENTERPRISE made them FEEL like people at last.

Also wonderful was Archer's definition: his blandness across three seasons finally solidified into clarity. Kirk was a man of action. Picard was a diplomat. Sisko was a cultural anthropologist. Archer is defined in Season 4 as a pilot, a man who is perpetually thrown into the deep end and will find SOMETHING to do whether it's trying to stop the genetically engineered soldiers from releasing a virus or trying to save as many Vulcans as he can. His fundamental decency and Scott Bakula's earnest screen presence finally made Archer come alive, and there's a beautiful sense of what Captain Archer stands for when he convinces the Tellarites and the Andorians to make find common ground and make peace.

Then we came to the two-part finale for the year where ENTERPRISE confronts anti-alien sentiment and... I didn't finish it. I liked Season 4 so much that I didn't want it to end. So I never watched the "Terra Prime" finale and only read the script for "These Are The Voyages."

**

I have another shocking confession: I never finished reading the ENTERPRISE relaunch novels. I read the first one, LAST FULL MEASURE, which is set during Season 3 during the Xindi hunt. It has a framing sequence where an old man meets a child named James Kirk. The ending returns to the framing sequence and reveals the old man to be Trip Tucker, alive decades after his onscreen death in the series finale. The second novel, THE GOOD THAT MEN DO, has a framing sequence where Jake and Nog are reviewing the historical files of the holodeck simulation in "These Are The Voyages" and realize that the entire story is a cover up to obscure Trip going undercover to investigate a mysterious conspiracy that turned out to be the start of the Romulans waging war on Earth and Vulcan.

... I never got around to reading THE ROMULAN WAR duology which, I assume, depicts Archer, Trip and T'Pol playing Battleship and Risk. I also never got around to reading the five-book series RISE OF THE FEDERATION, which I assume is a five volume cookbook series where Trip reveals his family's baking secrets and how to do Tucker style souffles and bread.

Anyway. Bought the lot just now. I guess I'll finally finish "Demons" and "Terra Prime" and get to reading.

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

Enterprise was never very good.  I always felt like they made serious mistakes with it, particularly in casting.  TNG and DS9 was led by amazingly strong, polished, and versatile actors.  VOY had some who were terrific, but some who were simply not good enough.  ENT had basically nobody.  The guy who played Phlox was solid, but the rest were basically terrible.  Bakula of course I am a huge fan of, but he wasn't right for the part.  They had the typical Trek series directors and decent writers including Chris Black and Mike Sussman, but the story direction came from Braga, Berman, and worst of all, the buffoons at UPN.

The series quickly became awful, but during season 3 (which stunk too) I began to read these reports on the web about this guy Manny Coto.  He was a Trek diehard who they hired, and I began to check out season 3 a bit more.  I was hopeful, especially when reading interviews with Manny for Season 4.  He pledged to change things up, to go with smaller arcs, many of which would revisit unanswered TOS Trekkie questions.  He also hired Trek novelists Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, who I was big fan of.  The result I thought, was fabulous.  The show came to life, and though not nearly as dark, hit a lot of the angles we eventually saw in Discovery.  Some people hated this approach, calling it lazy and recycling, but for me it worked.

Sadly, they moved it to Friday nights, and the ratings didn't drop that much, but damn UPN canceled the show.  A huge fan movement resulted, with millions in donations to save the show.  Didn't happen.  Manny gave up the ideas he had for the fifth season, and it would really have been cool.  He was going to hit on more TOS episode back stories, even the Kzinti from The Animated Series.  To me it was a great loss for Trek fans.

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

Funny how stuff in science fiction usually ends up happening in real life at some point.  Doesn’t this sound like the start of Sanctuary Districts?

http://www.citizensagain.com/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Past_Te … pace_Nine)

And when did we see the concept in use on Star Trek?  2024

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

ireactions wrote:

I have a shocking confession to make: I never finished watching ENTERPRISE.

The third season was a mess for the first half, opening with a nonsensical attack on Earth from the Xindi who were testing their planet annihilating weapon (and were so polite as to give Earth fair warning a year before they planned to destroy it totally!?!?). But as the season progressed, Season 3 dived away from NEXT GENERATION style single-episode stories and fully into an ongoing arc. As ENTERPRISE examined Starfleet ideals versus the horrors of an impending war, ENTERPRISE seemed to finally find a voice in showing STAR TREK's ideals being built before our eyes instead of existing as a settled state of affairs. New showrunner Manny Coto was a godsend.

Season 4 was also great, offering eight STAR TREK movies with its multi-episode stories. The first dealt with the Temporal Cold War and the shadow of the Nazis that the original series had always faced. The second addressed genetic engineering and attempted to give all the characters personalities as opposed to defining them by their jobs. We saw Trip, Mayweather and Phlox going to a bar on Earth! We saw the bridge crew playing basketball together! Season 4 was far too late to fully define them in an episode or two, but ENTERPRISE made them FEEL like people at last.

Also wonderful was Archer's definition: his blandness across three seasons finally solidified into clarity. Kirk was a man of action. Picard was a diplomat. Sisko was a cultural anthropologist. Archer is defined in Season 4 as a pilot, a man who is perpetually thrown into the deep end and will find SOMETHING to do whether it's trying to stop the genetically engineered soldiers from releasing a virus or trying to save as many Vulcans as he can. His fundamental decency and Scott Bakula's earnest screen presence finally made Archer come alive, and there's a beautiful sense of what Captain Archer stands for when he convinces the Tellarites and the Andorians to make find common ground and make peace.

Then we came to the two-part finale for the year where ENTERPRISE confronts anti-alien sentiment and... I didn't finish it. I liked Season 4 so much that I didn't want it to end. So I never watched the "Terra Prime" finale and only read the script for "These Are The Voyages."

**

I have another shocking confession: I never finished reading the ENTERPRISE relaunch novels. I read the first one, LAST FULL MEASURE, which is set during Season 3 during the Xindi hunt. It has a framing sequence where an old man meets a child named James Kirk. The ending returns to the framing sequence and reveals the old man to be Trip Tucker, alive decades after his onscreen death in the series finale. The second novel, THE GOOD THAT MEN DO, has a framing sequence where Jake and Nog are reviewing the historical files of the holodeck simulation in "These Are The Voyages" and realize that the entire story is a cover up to obscure Trip going undercover to investigate a mysterious conspiracy that turned out to be the start of the Romulans waging war on Earth and Vulcan.

... I never got around to reading THE ROMULAN WAR duology which, I assume, depicts Archer, Trip and T'Pol playing Battleship and Risk. I also never got around to reading the five-book series RISE OF THE FEDERATION, which I assume is a five volume cookbook series where Trip reveals his family's baking secrets and how to do Tucker style souffles and bread.

Anyway. Bought the lot just now. I guess I'll finally finish "Demons" and "Terra Prime" and get to reading.

Also the holodeck is suppose to be an intriguing game/movie adventure world for the protagonist, so you do have to wonder what aspects of the story were changed so the player (Ricker) could have a fun adventure.

Was a weird way to end the show and the franchise period, the fact that PatMount couldn't convince upn to make a 2 hour movie ending so the show could end on episode # 100 was also showing how far the Dynasty has fallen.  Overall it was a budget episode to end the series, If they wouldn't of killed the most liked member of the crew probably wouldn't of been as bad.


I like Enterprise despite its flaws, probably the show I like the most mainly because my young kids like it the Dr. Phlox, the intro song and the dog help.  It has stayed in constant syndication ever since it was canceled so that's good to.

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

Star Trek: Picard premieres today/tonight on CBS All Access.  We get to move beyond the TOS era for the first time in almost 20 years!  I'm about as excited about this as I've been about a random TV show in a while.  Hope it lives up to the hype!

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

Eeeeeeeeeeeek! It's like getting Professor Arturo back.

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

I enjoyed the opener quite a bit.  It's a little hard to see Picard moving around so poorly, but I think they did a good job.  I've always sorta been fascinated by civilian life in the Federation so that has been pretty cool.  I don't think we saw a single active member of Starfleet in the whole episode?  Maybe in the longshot in San Francisco, but I don't think anywhere else.

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

Haven't watched PICARD yet. I've been really busy and distracted and I don't want to welcome Dad home without getting my head in order and cleaning up the house, if that makes any sense. I always imagined Quinn urgently tidying up his basement before the Professor descended into the lab.

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

I too just finished watching the PICARD season premiere. I was relieved to see Patrick Stewart winded by a heart-pounding walk up a flight of stairs -- because I was appalled by GENERATIONS, FIRST CONTACT, INSURRECTION and NEMESIS turning Picard into an action hero wrestling villains on bridges, firing tommy guns through Borg (although it was meant to be appalling), shooting down drones and leaping about catwalks and racing dune buggies. That's not what Picard is for.

In PICARD, Picard is afraid. He is frail. He is weak. But infirm or not, he took an oath as a Starfleet officer to stand for those who couldn't, to defend those who came to him for aid, if not with force, then with knowledge and strategy and care. And he's an old man; he's lived his life, so he's willing to put his body in the line of fire if it means saving someone else.

Dajh's supsersoldier combat while Picard hides behind a bench -- it suggests that fighting may be superficially flashy, but it isn't special or unique. We wouldn't bring Professor Arturo back to have him wrestle Jeffrey Dean Morgan or blow up a radioactive worm, after all; we'd bring him back for his big ideas and John Rhys-Davies' bombastic scenery chewing and his problem solving. Any fool can wrestle and shoot. We need a peacemaker.

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

I got to the end of the latest PICARD when _____________ shows up to the rescue and my heart soared and I was pleased because I knew that Slider_Quinn21 (and only Slider_Quinn21) would be happy to see ___ again. I am somewhat indifferent to ___ and I have also literally never seen anyone other than Slider_Quinn21 express fondness for this character and I know he will be glad to reunite with this old friend.

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

I *am* excited to see ____!

I've enjoyed the show.  I'm not sure if it's good or if I'm just genuinely excited to see post-Nemesis Trek.  I identify with this era so much more (and not just because of my irrational love of Voyager...for the record, I still know that DS9 is the superior show), and it's nice to see what familiar faces are up to.  It's also nice to see a side of Starfleet that we've never really seen very long or in depth - a civilian one.  Certainly there would be "retired" members of Starfleet who would still want to do something space-adjacent.  So Rios is an interesting character in that sense.

A couple things that have bothered me:

1. I know Starfleet has always been pretty corrupt.  TNG had about 100 episodes where the eventual main villain ended up being a corrupt admiral.  DS9 showed the many atrocities of both Starfleet and humans (via Section 31).  So to say that the Federation and Starfleet have always been the good guys is a bit off.  But the way Starfleet is shown does sorta throw it's arms in the face of what I think Roddenberry originally envisioned.  I'm sure the show will try and rationalize this by the end, but I found myself wondering if Picard was the only person who quit in protest.  I know we'll find out what happened to Riker and Troi.  I'm guessing Seven of Nine has been a civilian for a while, but we'll find out this week.

But what about the people we probably won't see. Would Admiral Janeway have agreed with the decision?  Bashir?  O'Brien?  Barclay?  The Doctor?  Who would've quit with Picard?  Especially people who followed Picard everywhere else.  The show makes it seem like Picard and maybe Raffi were the only ones....and that would be disappointing because I think Picard is almost certainly in the right no matter how you look at it.

2. This one is way more minor, but why does Picard let Raffi call him JL?  One...that's not a nickname we've seen from anyone else.  And two...Picard has been very hesitant to have anyone call him by his first name.  I know it's happened with the occasional love interest (I think Ruby from First Contact does), but for the most part, it's shown to be something that Picard hates, especially on duty.  And Raffi calls him JL, even when he was in uniform as an admiral.  I get that she sees him as some sort of father figure and the show wants to show that they had more of a personal relationship, but I can't imagine Picard was ever truly okay with that.

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

The thing is that Gene Roddenberry's original vision of Starfleet / the United Earth Space Probe Agency / the Space Service in THE ORIGINAL SERIES is not what Roddenberry later claimed was his original vision as presented in THE NEXT GENERATION. In THE ORIGINAL SERIES, Starfleet was the US Navy and while Starfleet and the Federation professed values of peace and equality, Kirk frequently found himself at odds with Starfleet. In "Errand of Mercy," Starfleet is notably imperialistic in trying to seize territory to gain advantage over the Klingons while professing that their technology will raise huts and villages into hyperadvanced cities. In "Metamorphosis," Starfleet is demanding that the Enterprise be a part of a show of military force, something which Kirk does not prioritize.

It's only with THE NEXT GENERATION that Starfleet became the bland, broadly pleasant relief organization Roddenberry claimed that it had always been, so having Picard being frustrated with a Starfleet that seems more concerned with sustaining itself than practicing its ideals is pretty in tune with Roddenberry's initial vision which he later disavowed.

I don't know how the other TNG and DS9 and VOY characters reacted to Starfleet abandoning the Romulan relief effort, but it has to be noted that if Starfleet would not commit ships, labour and resources to the evacuation and rebuilding effort, then the 20 - 30 person cast of those shows would not have been able to mount a rescue -- at least not as PICARD presents it. This is another area where, due to Roddenberry, I'm not entirely sure I understand the situation. PICARD claims that because Starfleet would not back the rescue effort, the Romulans were abandoned. This doesn't make sense because Roddenberry established that the Federation was beyond money; that people worked to better themselves; that anything anyone needed could be replicated anyway, so people worked because they wanted to, not to survive.

Following that logic -- what exactly was to stop Picard from assembling a legion of volunteers and replicating whatever he needed to save the Romulans? The argument, I suppose, could be that mass scale replicators to build ships need a certain level of power that is beyond any small group of individuals' allotment for replication, and that an effort of that scale needed the approval of synthetic labourers who were now banned.

That said, Rios tells Agnes that as a pilot, he is "very expensive," Picard can't get a ship without help, he harvests grapes for wine -- PICARD doesn't seem to be maintaining the idea that the Federation is above and beyond money and unless I missed it, they haven't even referred to it.

**

Picard letting people call him JL strikes me as two factors. The first is that Picard has relaxed. From Seasons 1 - 7, he was gradually softening until by the series finale, he joined the weekly poker game and was cracking wise with Data by NEMESIS. The other factor is that Patrick Stewart has relaxed. Originally, Stewart for Seasons 1 - 2 had a reputation for being strict and irritable with his cast members for conversing and chattering between takes, bellowing at them, "WE ARE NOT HERE TO HAVE FUN!"

Michael Dorn addressed this with care and maturity by using Worf's workstation as the perfect perch above the captain's chair to crack eggs over Stewart's head.

Eventually, Stewart realized that his forceful insistence on relentless seriousness had less to do with being an actor and more to do with his unaddressed grief and trauma over being a child and watching his father repeatedly kick the shit out of his mother day after day, year after year. Stewart grew up with a constantly simmering hatred towards his father matched with a paralyzing fear of the man that prevented him from defending his mother as she was on the receiving end of another fist to the face and a boot to the stomach. The most he could do was use himself as a human shield.

As a result, Stewart grew into someone who believed he always had to be locked down and controlled to restrain his rage against his father or others and out of fear that he could follow his father in becoming a physical abuser. His firm, militaristic behaviour was a mask on top of isolation and grief and helplessness.

Over time, as Stewart addressed this, he stopped being so controlling over himself and his show and this is very obvious in his performance. He became quicker to laugh; he was no longer burying a horrific childhood and could begin to relax, and it's like the things that used to upset and enrage him like actors chatting between takes or breaking character or experimenting with blocking and cue lines became trivial and welcome. He became laid back to the point where Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis would address him as "Old Baldy" and he enjoyed that because it indicated how comfortable it was to be around him now.

Also, I recently ran into a schoolteacher I remember being very much a disciplinarian. He informed me that he was now letting students call him various insulting nicknames because "I am really old and I have no fucks left to give."

Which is probably why Picard went from someone who required being addressed as "Captain" or "Sir" is now happy to be greeted with a casual, "What up, JL?"

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

Okay, I buy both things now.  Well done!  I also didn't know any of the behind the scenes stuff, and I'm willing to accept that Picard (through Stewart) has relaxed.

About money.  That was my original third point that I forgot.  Because it isn't just about Rios.

I actually watched a whole YouTube video about the issues with money in Trek.  There are apparently at least two books written by economist Trek fans, and they seemed to come to a conclusion that the Federation certainly uses money, even if the people in the Federation don't. 

What struck me as odd more than Rios wanting to be paid or Picard's winemaking operation was Raffi's situation.  Raffi attacks Picard for living in a mansion while being embarrassed that she's living in a hovel.  She's implying that her life fell apart and she ended up in the desert because no one else would take her.  In more modern terms....that was the only place she could afford.

But that doesn't make sense in a Trek world.  She should be able to live wherever there is space.  There's no money so there should be no reason for anyone to live in a hovel.  It would be more about simply finding some place to live and live there.  If there was nowhere to live, you'd think there'd be a system in place to build more housing.

But she's right.  She lives in a hovel.  Dahj lives in an apartment.  Picard lives in a mansion.  In a money-less society, what led those people to live where they do?  Dahj, you might assume, is living in an apartment because of convenience of location or simply being the right size for a woman her age.  And it's temporary since she's about to move to Japan.

But Dahj clearly wants to live in a mansion.  Picard spent most of his life on a starship, and his mansion would've either been sitting empty for decades (after his whole family died) or was lived in by workers at the vineyard.

My only guess is that, at some point, "ownership" became grandfathered.  Picard's family owned a vineyard so that's their vineyard.  If all the Picards died, the vineyard could be willed to someone or would become property of the Federation.  But as long as the Picards want it, they own it.  Same with a store or the Sisko family restaurant.

If you don't own anything, your options are whatever is available.  I would assume there would be some sort of lottery or waiting list if you wanted to live in a place that was high demand, and if you wanted to live somewhere low demand, you'd get it rather easily and quickly.  It'd be a lot like now except money would be out of the equation.  If your family and two other families wanted the same house, you'd have to "win" it in some other way - by chance or by asking first.

For Raffi, my guess is that she was blacklisted by Starfleet somehow and was unable to get any of the good housing.  Her housing is still free, but it's the only place that was available to her in the system.

BUT....

Another option is that....what if the Federation started using money again?  What if the theme of Picard is that money crept back into Federation society and has corrupted it somehow?  I mean it's almost certainly not that....but what if?

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

Well, THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SPACE NINE, VOYAGER and GENERATIONS, FIRST CONTACT, INSURRECTION and NEMESIS took place in a Federation that did not use money (however that works). PICARD is set 20 years after NEMESIS and money has become part of common parlance again, so I think we have to accept that in two decades, things have changed. Money is part of the Federation again.

THE ORIGINAL SERIES had Kirk referring to the Federation spending "a lot of money on our training" in "Errand of Mercy" and informing a crewman in "Doomsday Machine" that "You just earned your pay for the week." In "The Trouble With Tribbles," Uhura buys a tribble from merchant Cyrano Jones. DISCOVERY has Harry Mudd being very money-fixated.

THE VOYAGE HOME has Kirk referring to the 20th century "still using money," but in context, it suggests he means "money" as in "cash," with the Federation using some sort of digital credit system with no physical currency. However, THE NEXT GENERATION in "The Neutral Zone" went so far as to claim that money no longer existed in the Federation -- at Roddenberry's behest. The writers Roddenberry employed did not understand what this meant, but with the stories set aboard a starship and with replicators, money was narratively inconsequential to their scripts, so it rarely came up.

In FIRST CONTACT, Picard says, "Money doesn't exist in the 24th century. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force of our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity." Ronald D. Moore wrote that and admitted he had no idea how that could work. But it was one of Roddenberry's rules. So he followed it. Later he wrote another script on DEEP SPACE NINE which pokes fun when Jake can't bid on a non-Federation auction and tries to borrow money from Nog.

Nog says, "Use your own money." Jake protests that he doesn't have any and Nog replies, "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement." Jake repeats Picard's FIRST CONTACT dialogue about working for self-betterment and Nog says, "What does that mean exactly?" Jake cannot explain. Jake is also proud to be a professional writer only for Nog to note that Jake isn't paid for his book.

Ronald D. Moore wrote:

It is a strange platitude that we used on the show, the need for money was gone and everything was about bettering yourself. It was no longer about any kind of material gain or personal gain, everyone was just trying to be a better person.

So none of us could understand what that mean or how that society functioned. It all seemed very vague. None of the writers took it seriously.

We all kind of laughed about it and joked about it. We all had to pay homage to it because that was something that was built into the structure of the show. At every opportunity we tried to sneak in ways. How do you play poker if you don’t have currency?

Except... Moore is wrong to entirely dismiss Roddenberry's vision of a society that has grown beyond money by TNG because TNG introduced the replicator. If you can create anything from those little slots -- clothes, food, medicine, building materials -- then money would naturally become a lot less significant. The social safety net could ensure a universal replicator ration. Roddenberry clearly didn't think through his moneyless society aside from declaring it to be so, but I can imagine money becoming irrelevant in the 24th century if the replicator could even replicate its own fuel supply.

I think Roddenberry would have done best to say that while money exists, it's become trivial; anything anyone needs can be replicated and everyone has a basic replicator allowance. While people receive additional replicator credit for work, the payment is beneath notice; Federation citizens can barter with currency but rarely see any reason to do so. Money could have become regarded with disinterest culturally even if present economically. Everyone is now employed in the not-for-profit industry.

But this is clearly over anyway by PICARD. People are using money. Raffi lacks money. Rios charges money. Picard makes wine to earn money. Something has changed between NEMESIS and PICARD.

Perhaps the replicator economy was dependent upon the perpetually rising scale of replication to keep pace with population growth -- and then the synthetics destroying the shipyards and being banned from use has made it impossible for the Federation to be as free as they once were with replicator power.

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

Is it confirmed that Picard is selling the wine?  I might've missed that.

Because the vineyard existed the whole time.  I assumed he was making wine and then "donating" (?) it to stores and people that want it?  Just like I assume Joseph Sisko's food is free.  He'd get the ingredients for free.  Farmers grow crops because 1) they like it and 2) people need them.  Or they're replicated.  Sisko makes food because he likes doing and people need to eat.  Picard makes wine because his family has done it, the people that make it like it, and people need it.

It doesn't really make any sense, but I'm also trying to understand a world that "didn't use money" suddenly starting to use it again.  It seems just as alien to me.