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But it would be easy to bring Trip back. You just have to alter the official record for some reason. He is recruited into Section 31, or some futuristic version of Witness Protection.

These days, his death could be entirely made up by people doctoring history for whatever reason. Rewriting history happens often enough.

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It's scary that Informant just randomly BSed precisely how Trip came back to life in the novels.

**

VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE were very weird shows in the sense that they were incredibly awkward, akin to a church sermon from an athiest. I think I know why. Michael Piller, in his FADE IN retrospective, talks about how Gene Roddenberry had a lot of rules for the STAR TREK universe (no conflict, no insecurities, no arguments) and how all this was to propogate Roddenberry's values of a better world. Piller, while struggling with writing drama within those constraints, understood Roddenberry's vision and could present its values.

The latter showrunners, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, however, didn't understand Roddenberry's values at all. And that's understandable in that as religions go, STAR TREK was a shallow, contradictory mess of self-delusional nonsense at times, but Berman and Braga would mimic Roddenberry's tenets (no conflict, no insecurities, no arguments) without any real heart or conviction in the beliefs behind the words. That's why STAR TREK became such an awkward, remicrowaved reheat of Roddenberry's greatest hits with the last two shows, INSURRECTION and NEMESIS.

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I did?! Now I have to try to remember to read a synopsis of that story. smile

I agree about Voyager and Enterprise. Roddenberry's vision didn't work. He started buying into his own hype by the time TNG came around, and his whole concept didn't work. The show didn't get better until he was gone, and to be honest, their attempt to stick to his vision kept TNG from being a really great show. It's a classic because it's fun, but it's not actually good most of the time. Berman and Bragga didn't understand why TNG worked, or why it didn't. They were a machine, creating product (much like Disney is these days).

DS9 made the best decision when they decided to pivot in the opposite direction and do everything that Roddenberry would have hated. It legitimized the Star Trek universe in a lot of ways.


I was just reading a book that told the behind the scenes stories of three Trek projects, from Voyager, DS9 and Insurrection. The book presented a look at scenes from each, from the writing stage, all the way through post-production.

The Voyager section stressed me out. They were building sets before they had a script. They were basing their whole season finale (Hope and Fear) on some vague idea of wanting to have a new ship, and all of their conversations were so shallow. All of their character drama was so false. They came at it all from the wrong perspective and with the wrong priorities, and it clearly shows on screen.

The DS9 scene was from "Tears of the Prophets". The scene they chose was Sisko, alone in a room with Jadzia's casket (it actually starts with her death, I think, but was mostly the Sisko scene). The whole writing process seems different for DS9. It's about the characters and how the story moves their story along. The development of the sequence, through filming and scoring it just felt so much smoother and natural.

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How Trip Tucker Died and Got Better
The ENTERPRISE novel, LAST FULL MEASURE, released after the cancellation, has a framing sequence in which a five year old James Kirk is visiting the Starfleet War Memorial and meets an old man who shares little Jimmy's reverence for Starfleet's ideals. We then go into the main story which is set during Season 3 of ENTERPRISE and is an untold adventure of Enterprise investigating the Xindi threat. When we return to the framing sequence at the end, the narration reveals that the old man is Trip Tucker, decades older than he was in his reported death in "These are the Voyages."

With the sequel, THE GOOD THAT MEN DO, a framing sequence has Jake and Nog hanging out and doing some research for one of Jake's books. Jake has stumbled across a strange cover-up; historical records have been altered with regards to the build-up to the Romulan War and the intial formation for the Coalition of Planets. Jake and Nog realize that all this has been done to falsify the death of Charles Tucker III.

We go back to the events of "These Are The Voyages" where we get the full story that exposes the holodeck simulation as a fraud. Tucker is recruited by Section 31 to prevent a Romulan attack and is forced to fake his own death to go undercover. THE GOOD THAT MEN DO also highlights how, when leading up to Trip's death scene in the aired episode, Trip winked at Archer and Archer smiled and then buried the smile, and then Archer gave Phlox a conspiratorial look.

I have no idea if the actors or directors or whoever were deliberately seeding the idea that this entire situation was a ruse or if the editors chose a take where the performers broke character or if Jolene Blalock got everyone high before filming, but it's onscreen and novelists Andy Mangels and Michael Martin seized on that. Good.

Trip is separated from his crewmates and becomes a pivotal figure in the ongoing ENTERPRISE novel series as the Romulan War alluded to in the original TREK becomes the center of the story.

I would now like Slider_Quinn21 to chime in and say these novels aren't canon.

**

With regards to Roddenberry's vision -- what stands out to me is that the original STAR TREK had Kirk and McCoy regularly blowing up and arguing and Kirk was a man of sexual appetites. Spock was certainly a breakout character with his value system, impeccable morality and cool, scientific personality and he contrasted well with his more human co-stars.

Then in the 70s, Spock's status as the breakout character of the show caused Roddenberry to take the view that Spock's philosophies were completely universal for every single character in TREK. Roddenberry seemed to forget that Kirk and McCoy and Scotty and Sulu and Chekov hadn't been anything like Spock. And while after the first TREK film, Roddenberry was relieved of control, he was responsible for THE NEXT GENERATION's first two seasons and its clumsy, witless, lecturing tone.

Writers like Ronald D. Moore and Michael Piller worked within the restrictions. Piller wrote a script where a boy grieves his dead mother. Roddenberry rejected it; people in the 24th century (or Spock) wouldn't grieve death. Piller rewrote it so that the aliens who accidentally killed mom try to push the kid into grief in an effort to atone for their error and his loss. This was accepted.

DS9 found other ways to be get around the limitations, mostly by indicating that the perfect world Roddenberry imagined was merely the Federation and by situating DS9 in proximity to Bajor and Cardassia, DS9 could bypass Roddenberry's restrictions while respecting their values.

They did introduce Section 31, the Federation's black-ops assassins. However, they also made sure to leave themselves some wiggle room by noting that Section 31 is unsanctioned with no official status and could arguably be considered a rogue organization that isn't part of Gene Roddenberry's perfect Federation.

If Ronald D. Moore and Ira Steven Behr had not felt a duty to be follow the letter of the law laid down by the original creator, I imagine they would have gone so far as to say that Gene's values were just that -- values -- existing in contast to a more complicated reality. But as STAR TREK had really put forth an ideal world as an actual reality, I think they felt it best to stick with that for the Federation while noting that there were lots of exceptions in the margins and outside the UNFP -- and they could do morally ambiguous worlds on their own shows.

And I think that's the best route because we should not make STAR TREK more like our world. We should make our world more like STAR TREK. But we also shouldn't be so reverential to a very flawed TV creator that we don't dare step outside his many arbitrary and asinine limitations, and then like Berman and Braga, lose any sense of how to tell a story with conflict, drama, risk, meaning and something to say.

55 (edited by Slider_Quinn21 2017-03-15 16:05:22)

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ireactions wrote:

I would now like Slider_Quinn21 to chime in and say these novels aren't canon.

Well, is any of this technically canon after the reboot? big_smile

(I know Enterprise takes place prior to Nero's trip back in time, which is the branching point, but I'll point out that if Kirk went to the War memorial and has fond memories of Starfleet, that doesn't necessarily fit in with the Kirk from the reboot.)

My question is actually different.

The Enterprise finale is framed by a story taking place during TNG.  The prequel novel is framed by a story taking place in the context of TOS.  The sequel novel is framed by a story taking place during DS9.

Why can't any Enterprise conclusion just be an Enterprise story? smile

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Roddenberry's "vision" changed quite a bit between TOS and TNG.  Look at Ensign Martine weeping in the Enterprise chapel for her dead fiance during BALANCE OF TERROR and try to reconcile that with the notion that Federation people have evolved beyond grieving.  Compare Kirk's handwaving of the Prime Directive in FOR THE WORLD IS HOLLOW AND I HAVE TOUCHED THE SKY and RETURN OF THE ARCHONS to Picard and Janeway sentencing whole worlds to destruction through slavish devotion to it.

Of course a lot of Gene's "vision" for TNG came from fans of TOS rather than the other way around.  He thought he was giving people what they wanted with TNG, much like he did when he created TOS as "Wagon Train to the Stars".

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Slider_Quinn21 wrote:
ireactions wrote:

I would now like Slider_Quinn21 to chime in and say these novels aren't canon.

Well, is any of this technically canon after the reboot? big_smile (I know Enterprise takes place prior to Nero's trip back in time, which is the branching point, but I'll point out that if Kirk went to the War memorial and has fond memories of Starfleet, that doesn't necessarily fit in with the Kirk from the reboot.)

Kirk's father (dead as of the 2009 reboot) appears in the memorial sequence. The novel was written well before the 2009 movie, shortly after the ENTERPRISE finale. That said, according to Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (screenwriters of the 2009 film), all the original shows and sequels continue to exist in a parallel timeline.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

My question is actually different. The Enterprise finale is framed by a story taking place during TNG.  The prequel novel is framed by a story taking place in the context of TOS.  The sequel novel is framed by a story taking place during DS9. Why can't any Enterprise conclusion just be an Enterprise story? smile

I think that because "These are the Voyages" set up the theme of a framing sequence, LAST FULL MEASURE and THE GOOD THAT MEN DO, in blatantly overwriting it, got some mileage out of maintaining the motif of a framing sequence even as they rewrote Trip's death into a cunning ruse.

I thought that having Jake and Nog appear was actually a really effective touch by retroactively placing the characters of ENTERPRISE into the well-known history of the DS9 characters, and having them discuss the events of the ENTERPRISE finale really emphasized how, as that episode featured a holodeck simulation, nothing in that episode could be trusted. It was a way to make the retcon convincing.

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This is where the documentary "Chaos on the Bridge" comes in handy. It documents everything that went into Roddenberry's mindset when it came to TNG and the Trek universe. Basically, he was buying into his own PR, but there were also other elements that came into play, which caused the whole thing to turn into a mess. It's funny when you have studio people saying that they have no idea what Encounter at Farpoint is about, even to this day. It's total nonsense!

https://youtu.be/XbyB2fy6Uzc

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 4 is totally unreadable.

Volume 4 is where Kevin Eastman (hyperintense action writer and artist) sold his share of TMNT to Peter Laird and Peter Laird carried on alone. The thing about the original TMNT -- I mean, it was messy and poorly paced and incomplete and amateurish, but the talent was unmistakable: crazy action, absurd visuals, philosophical contemplation and grand sci-fi concepts.

With Eastman gone and taking his stylized action lunacy with him, Laird's writing and artistic sensibilities dominate Volume 4 -- and so what we have are 32 issues with about eight issues of content. This is a series where half an issue is just panels of a spaceship landing, where the bulk of an issue's pages are the Turtles doing automotive repair on a truck, where the last page of one issue is a lengthy text piece from Peter Laird about how much he loves his new Segway.

The series is a drawn out mess of incoherent plot threads: aliens land on Earth and offer their tech freely, meaning the Turtles can now walk around in public and are thought of as visiting aliens. Donatello is shrunken down to action figure size, Michelangelo goes off to space, Splinter dies of old age, April discovers she's a being of pure imagination -- none of these plot threads have any linking theme, and the focus of the stories is so scattered and confused that you wonder where it's all going and you suspect it's going nowhere. That suspicion turns out to be correct: Volume 4 took 14 years to release 32 issues and ended on a cliffhanger.

Peter Laird began Volume 4 with great enthusiasm only to get sidetracked by producing the 2003 animated series, a series he describes as a true representation of his vision of the Turtles. In contrast, Volume 4 starts out strong but Laird's distraction and lack of commitment becomes apparent with the meandering stories that he couldn't even be bothered to wrap up. To be fair, Laird confessed to being burnt out on the comic and the animated series and losing all passion for the Turtles -- but there is really no excuse for not finishing what he started.

In addition to the abortion that's Volume 4, Laird spearheaded a second anthology volume of TALES OF THE TMNT -- which had the bizarre editorial direction where story arcs would not be published sequentially. By that, I mean that even though there were multi-issue arcs, the installments would be separated by unrelated stories. For example, there was a "Gang Wars" story about New York's organized crime after the Turtles defeated the Foot Clan -- but each issue of "Gang Wars" in Tales of the TMNT would be followed by three to 20 issues of other stories before the next installment of "Gang Wars" and then "Gang Wars" never even finished because Laird sold the franchise to Viacom and gave up on Ninja Turtles comics.

There is a shocking indifference to reader enjoyment here that is just unbelievable and it simply cements my opinion: do not read the original run of NINJA TURTLES. Life's too short to read comics from creators who are so indifferent to their readers. Leave that to crazy completists like me. Stick to the Nickelodeon series.

*throws all the Mirage NINJA TURTLES comics into the fireplace*

Oh, wait. There's one left. TMNT: ODYSSEY. The final Mirage TMNT comic -- not published by Mirage but by that crazy fanboy who loved these comics so much (why?) that he paid writers and artists for a final chapter. Fine. I'll read it.

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April is a being of pure imagination?

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*closes eyes*

Back in the 1980s, Donatello found a magic pen in April's apartment building that would bring whatever drawn with it to life. It turns out that April's father drew her with the pen and dear God why did April, a normal person in a crazy world, need to be a magical creature why why why?

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That's...........dumb.

63 (edited by Surf Dance Chris 2017-03-20 20:25:16)

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Mirage TMNT has a bunch of gems, but there is also a lot of crap in there as well. Kinda like Sliders. When it's good, it's damn good. But a lot of Mirage TMNT I just get into a daze as I read them.

As far as volume 4 speicifically, it started out pretty ambitious and was exciting with Laird returning. I usually enjoyed Tales more, much of them were one shot stories and more fun than the drawn out arcs of volume 4.

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It's true that many of the Mirage TMNT comics are excellent. The initial 21 issues and the four one-shots are, despite missteps, very strong in terms of their superb artistry as Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird blend beautiful artwork and superb storytelling into hyperdynamic action and deeply stirring contemplation. There are problems like their bizarre design choices meaning it's hard to tell the Turtles apart and the long delays between individual issues was absurd. They are good comics.

The guest-era, from #22 - 44 when Eastman and Laird were too busy managing licensing and franchising to write and draw comics, is filled with excellent work. Eastman and Laird returned to writing the series with Jim Lawson drawing the epic "City at War" arc which is also a very serious, thoughtful, action packed story. There isn't any of the humour from the original animated show or the Nickelodeon series, but the lunacy of the Turtles comes through -- although, as I said, the fact that you can't tell any of them apart speaks poorly of Eastman and Laird's design skiils.

Volume 2 is an awkward, unfinished, abruptly concluded mess. Volume 3's pretty good if you make sure to read the fan-published issues. Volume 4 is filled with beautiful artistry and many of the TALES OF THE TMNT stories are excellent, but the unfinished, inconclusive nature of the series means nobody should read it. The TMNT Entity blog remarked that most readers could stop at "City of War" and feel like they had a complete, finished, satisfying product without stepping into the incomplete material of Volumes 2 - 4.

I'm still in the middle of TMNT: ODYSSEY.

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What do you think about the volume 1 guest issues drawn by Rich Hedden and Tom McWeeny (34, 38-40)?  They also did a one shot The Maltese Turtle. They were over the top comedy gold in my opinion, and heavily influenced me personally as an artist (even though I never pursued it professionally). They also had a series from Dark Horse called Roachmill and did a few guest stints on Gen 13. I wish they had continued to create funnybooks in that kind of over the top humor, but I guess there's little market for it, as McWeeny ended up doing a lot of inking for Image (no humor style), a lot with DV8.

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#34 is a delightfully psychological tale with some great jokes. #38 - 40 would be funnier if the story were compressed into a single issue; they didn't have enough jokes for three installments. My favourite of the guest-era are the three Michael Zulli issues.

I finished reading the Mirage finale, ODYSSEY. This is essentially the SLIDERS REBORN of NINJA TURTLES; a parallel-reality spanning epic made by the fans for the fans and at their own expense. It's pretty amazing, but the fact that it exists speaks to the sheer failure of the actual creators.

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Synopsis!  Synopsis!

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TMNT ODYSSEY is a series finale for the Mirage comics that, like SLIDERS REBORN, seeks to address a sea of unresolved plots and posting tribute to a labyrinth of continuity while telling its own story in addition to serving as a definite conclusion.

The story: a mysterious time traveling and reality warping villain is destroying realities containing versions of the Ninja Turtles, wiping out the first and second animated shows, the live action films, the Archie published comics and it’s up to the aged Mirage Turtles to confront this enemy known only as the Shogun.

The Shogun turns out to be a future version of Michelangelo driven mad by several cosmic artifacts and grief over the Turtle family haven drifted apart and by how all his parallel universe counterparts are not thinkers and writers but absent minded goofballs. He seeks to destroy reality and rebuild it into his ideal multiverse in which his family will never separate or die.

The Turtles fight their brother to the end of time. Raphael kills Michelangelo and Leonardo grabs the cosmic object just before all of reality is destroyed. The multiverse reforms and the new worlds include the IDW comics, the Michael Bay films, the Nickelodeon series and potentially more.

It's nicely written by Andrew Modeen and it's drawn by TMNT comic veteran Jim Lawson, so despite being fan fiction, it fits right in with the official Mirage comics and easy to see as canonical.

It’s a good finale. The Turtles are all old now, still excellent fighters but worn down by injuries and sadness. The unfinished Volume 4 is integrated into ODYSSEY through a sequence of the Turtles annual camping trip at multiple points in their lifetimes, one of which is set during Volume 4 without specifying how that volume ended.

The Turtles, traveling across time and space to find the Shogun, are joined by survivors of characters from the other continuities, showing respect to every version of the Turtles. There’s extensive tribute to Mirage comics to observe what’s being concluded.

The ending directs readers to embrace the new Ninja Turtles shows, films and comics while heralding the Mirage comics as the core source material and assuring us that the previous incarnations lived full lives even if they did so out of sight from the readers. NINJA TURTLES ODYSSEY takes the Turtles to the end of their lives and then shows them reborn.

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I can't find the old Sleepy Hollow post, but I wanted to say a couple things about it.

First off, I think it's been really fun this year.  A lot like season one.  I think the new people have meshed really well, and the stories they're telling are interesting.  I think Dreyfuss and taking over America with supernatural help is a great move for the series, and they've kept Sleepy Hollow close (enough) that it doesn't feel like a spin-off.

Second, they called it the "season finale" but I wonder if it will be back.  Even with half the original cast, it can't be cheap, and the ratings are about 2/3 what they were last year (when it was brought back for less episodes on a Friday).  That being said, it's just a half-season show, and it seemed to do okay on a Friday.  Maybe it will be back.

Third, it's really weird that we've had a couple different flash forwards, and they still haven't really explained what happened to cause Dreyfus' America.  So he kills the president and becomes president?  Becomes emperor?  Other than change the flag and execute political prisoners, what's different about his country?  I'm sure they have budget restraints of showing too much (thus the story told in children's drawings), but they can tell us about it in dialogue and it doesn't cost anything smile

Fourth, it reminds me a lot of Fringe's final two seasons.  And not just because John Noble is back.

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I haven't seen Sleepy Hollow this year. After season 1, the show took a huge dive. I may check it out if it's on Netflix though.

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I watched seasons 2 and 3 but it dragged.  This season, he's gone to Washington DC and is working with a secret group (very small) that is the direct result of Washington trying to build in a supernatural defense into the government.  It feels like a very organic move for the show.  Depending on what happens, I think this season is worth checking out (I don't think there's any need to see the other two seasons - this one is very much a follow up to the 1st season).

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Interesting. I will keep it in mind for summer.

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On the Walking Dead.  Spoilers.

I know some of you watch, and this is a show I sorta hate-watch.  A lot of people are talking about the idea that, last night, Rick took a step in his fight against Negan and the Saviors by acting very-much like Negan and the Saviors.  And that's a fine talking point, but the show does that all the time.

Something I'd like to talk about is something a little different and something that I think could've made this season of the Walking Dead different.  The Saviors are shown to be just like a lot of the other evil communities in the show.  The big difference is that they're more like gangsters....going around and shaking people down in exchange for peace.

But what if the Saviors....were saviors?  What if they were shaking people down for...protection?

Imagine a different version of this season where, for the first time, Walkers weren't a problem?  Alexandria and Hilltop are free to go on supply runs because....the Saviors are a protection racket.  They take your guns and they take their cut of your "revenue", but they're also out there mowing down the walking dead.  And they're good at it.  They can clear whole towns and help put up walls and start communities.  And, in exchange, they get their piece of the pie.

It'd be an interesting conundrum where people are torn between living in this authoritarian government and living in complete zombie-infested chaos.

I think it'd be a much more interesting dynamic - Negan would be evil, sure.  But he'd have a much better reason to think of himself as the good guy.  "Look, we're out there winning this war for you.  We keep your communities safe.  All we're asking for is for you to gather up some supplies and share them with us while we're doing it.  While we're out there risking our lives, we don't have time to plant a garden and get food.  You guys are going to have to do that for us if you want to live in peace."

I think that would be much better.

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Does anyone watch USA's Colony?

It's a pretty interesting show.  They just finished season 2.

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I haven't tried Colony yet. I will probably get around to it eventually though.

I've been watching Thirteen Reasons Why, on Netflix. It is a compelling series, but it is emotionally draining... and I'm only on episode 4. A lot of people don't like stories that are dark or depressing, but I'm fine with it as long as they're done well. An emotional reaction is good. And saying that every story should be happy and fun in some way is just silly. The show is well acted and well made. Good on them! That said, I feel like curling up in bed with the covers pulled over my head after every episode.

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Just finished episode 8 of Thirteen Reasons Why. I pity the people who binge watch this show. I really do.