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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that's getting off track.

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Informant wrote:

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

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

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

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

Informant wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Informant wrote:

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

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

Well, so far they have:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/yn3-u2Lq9tw

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

https://youtu.be/yrTBc0Gc1sc


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**

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

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

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

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

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

I really like what tom2point0 said about the show:

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

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

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

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

I agree with all that too.

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

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

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

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

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:
Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
RussianCabbie_Lotteryfan wrote:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I agree with all that too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ireactions wrote:

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

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

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

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

Just like real life.

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

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

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

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

- Seth

Season 3, Episode 1: "Mixed and Mismatched"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whadja think, Alex?


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

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

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

Sincerely yours,

Alex

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

Hahaha, I enjoyed that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wil Wheaton wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TemporalFlux wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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


https://youtu.be/ojtX_Oz4WsU

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

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

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

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

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

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

....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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