Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I thought DISCOVERY was good, but the show is still a work in progress because the first two episodes are more about establishing the lead character's conflicts rather than establishing what the show will be.

DISCOVERY really captured the two sides of STAR TREK: the militaristic situations of threat and danger and the exploratory sense of adventure. The image of the Starfleet logo written in sand through a series of footprints is beautiful. Michael Burnham's delight at flying through space in an EVA suit to see what's out there is magnificently presented and it's right alongside situations of threat and danger where Starfleet's ideals of peace and discourse come up against a culture that sees strength through dominance and destruction.

Visually, the show's costuming and ship designs find an interesting middle ground between ENTERPRISE and STAR TREK: the uniforms are reminiscent of the NX-01 flight suits but with some of the decorations found in STAR TREK's tunics.

From a technological standpoint, however, DISCOVERY's tech seems far more advanced than all the shows taking place after DISCOVERY. Holographic communications were presented as startlingly new in DS9, so to see it here is jarring. The transporter works faster on DISCOVERY than in the original series. The force field technology holding back the vacuum of space when the ship's structure is smashed open was absent in the other shows.

The rebootquels had an in-universe explanation for why the 23rd century looked different from the 1960s show: the attack on the Kelvin caused Starfleet to amp up its military research and development to be able to fight off any such future attacks. The only real explanation DISCOVERY can offer, given that the producers say it's set in the original timeline, is that STAR TREK is a fictional creation and each series is an interpretation of a conjectural mythology rather than a documentary of an actual reality.

That's the only reason I can find for the Klingons being redesigned, an aesthetic move that dismisses ENTERPRISE's Augment virus explanation for why the Original Series Klingons looked human.

For the technology, there are any number of in-universe explanations. Holographic tech may have proven to be insecure, the slower transporter may have included more safety measures, the force field tech became obsolete with advancements in artificial gravity. The average viewer who may not have seen the 60s show won't be troubled. I wondered if newcomers might be confused at how Michael putting her hand between her captain's neck and shoulder somehow knocked her unconscious, but I think it's fair to say that Spock's iconic status means the Vulcan nerve pinch is known by all.

It's interesting -- for the longest time, I couldn't really accept ENTERPRISE as a prequel to the original series. In terms of writing and design, it was really a prequel to TNG. DISCOVERY feels like a prequel to the 2009 rebootquel.

There is a novel, STAR TREK: DESPERATE HOURS which has the DISCOVERY characters meeting the characters of "The Cage" and the writer, David Mack, will have to find some way to reconcile two very disparate visions of the twenty-third century.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

How much of that is spoilery? Should I read it?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Informant wrote:

How much of that is spoilery? Should I read it?

I watched it last night, and it's not really spoilery.  A couple minor plot points are spoiled, but that's it.  To be 100% safe, you shouldn't read it.  But it's more technical than plot-based.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Ireactions, my friend and I watched it last night, and we had a similar discussion.  And I'm wondering if there's necessarily a reason why this is set when it's set....if it's not, I think they should've set it in the 26th century.  There are things that they could've done to easily set this in a time period we're unfamiliar with and make it feel new and exciting.

New technology is the easiest to write off....there's no explanation needed.  Technology is better because time has passed....things are newer and sleeker.  New uniforms are new because Starfleet is always changing uniforms.  There's even stuff like Saru and the droid (?) on the bridge....these are species that joined the Federation since the TNG era (it's always weird when we get new species on prequel series because I sorta assume they died off or something).

The Klingon stuff is tricky because of the redesign.  But it could be another race of Klingons (like the Remans).  It'd be interesting if they said that the Klingons, after the Dominion War, became isolationist for 100 years.  And now they're back and ready to make their presence known again.

Outside of (character) showing up, there wasn't anything in the Pilot episode that showed that this needs to be a prequel.  The new movies are capitalizing on the reboot phenomenon, and Enterprise was showing a period of Starfleet's history that wasn't covered.  If there isn't a particular reason to show a time that we've semi-seen before, I'd like to see something new.

All in all, I enjoyed it and will be watching the rest of the season.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I'll hold off reading this stuff for now smile

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I'm about 2/3 through STAR TREK: DISCOVERY - "Desperate Hours." The story has the Shenzou and the Enterprise (captained by Christopher Pike) teaming up to fight an alien menace. At one point, Spock beams over to the Shenzou to meet Michael, his adoptive sister, and notes that because they weren't raised together at the same time, they barely know each other. He also observes that the Shenzou was built before the Enterprise. The explanation for why DISCOVERY doesn't look like "The Cage" and why the uniforms and ships and tech look different: the Enterprise was the first of a new generation of starships built primarily for diplomacy with all the uniforms and design elements meant to encourage peaceful discourse.

The Shenzou (and most of Starfleet's ships right now) have a more militaristic edge because they were built for battle as the Federation is still haunted by the Romulan War. The Enterprise is essentially a pilot project for a new vision of Starfleet dedicated to peacekeeping rather than military force, hence the different look and uniforms and technology. At this point in the timeline, no one's sure how that's going to turn out.

Personally, I always liked this video -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCPdmOuzYrM -- which suggests what the original STAR TREK might've looked like had they used modern design materials.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

That's why I like the idea of always going forward.  There doesn't need to be an explanation in that case.  The technology is better because that's how technology works.  The tech was bad in the 60s because....World War 3 put us back?  I think TNG did it right with the big jump.

The problem is that today we're all about seeing rebootquels.  We want to see characters we're familiar with.  If TNG would've been made today, it would've just been a reboot like Hawaii Five-O or MacGuyver.

That being said, I sorta like the idea that the Enterprise is an experiment that eventually wins out.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I'll wait until the season's over to have an opinion on the time period. But for now, I do wonder why they went the prequel route too. Maybe there's a reason.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I liked the second episode, and I'm intrigued.  This looks like it's going to be a very different vision of Trek from what we're used to.  I definitely see how this could've potentially been an anthology series, but I think the Michael character could absolutely carry a series.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

So I haven't seen the 3rd episode yet, but I was thinking more about the anthology aspect.  Was this a really cool idea that someone had for a first season of an anthology series (secret human daughter of Sarek raised as a Vulcan) that the series is just stuck with?  Because, again, nothing from this series necessarily requires a prequel setting.  Using Sarek is cool, but it could've been any human raised as a Vulcan.

If the plan was to create an anthology series, getting people in via a familiar setting with familiar characters is, potentially, the way to go.  Then you have a series set on a Maquis ship or a timeship or a season on the USS Titan (starring Jonathan Frakes) or a new adventure in the 26th century or a Vulcan ship or whatever.

Just speculating for fun.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Home sick today, so I saw the third episode earlier than expected. I can sort of see why they might have gone the prequel route: the Discovery is captained by Gabriel Lorca who seems more like a Section 31 agent than a Federation starship captain. Seth MacFarlane remarked once that NEXT GEN seemed staffed by the most professional people ever; rarely was anyone bad-tempered, irritable, holding a grudge -- to the point where Captain Picard was shocked when Barclay received a poor performance, he had a senior staff meeting as though it was a galactic crisis and ordered Geordi to become Barclay's "best friend."

Captain Lorca is out to destroy the enemy and he barely seems to have any concern for the people who are presumably on his side. An entire starship crew is killed due to an experiment he's leading; his response is to destroy the evidence and the corpses. He bullies his staff into taking Michael into their ranks, he houses homicidal monsters on his ship in secret -- even Captain Kirk at his most aggressive when fighting Klingons or the Gorn, made it clear that he was out to protect people whereas Lorca's goal is victory through destruction. When he describes a new means of interstellar travel, he conveys no joy or wonder -- only interest in how he might use the new tech to fight a war.

And while Michael might step for the moral high ground, as a convicted felon of no official rank and living out a life imprisonment sentence, she finds herself forced to stand next to him.

So, in that sense, I can see why they wanted a prequel to explore how the Federation faced a wartime situation that brought out the worst of them -- because by the time we get to the Original Series, few Starfleet officers are anything like that, to the point where the writers had to create a dark conspiracy to find Lorca's type in the STAR TREK universe. To do DISCOVERY as a sequel would be saying that humanity's best didn't persevere in the end.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Interesting.  I'm enjoying the series so whether it's a prequel or a sequel doesn't really matter to me.  It's just an interesting decision.  I can see them not wanting to ruin humanity's 24th century perfect record, but I think if they established that post-Dominion War, the Federation was in some sort of long-lasting crisis, it could throw humanity out of their good standing....and the series could be about humanity reclaiming what they'd lost.

But I also really like the idea of Starfleet moving from a military operation to an exploratory one.  If we're supposed to see TOS and beyond as a human utopia, then the road to that (especially now, when we're seeing the worst of humanity) is very interesting television fodder.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Now I'm going to argue against myself.

Within the individual shows, STAR TREK is not clear on whether humanity has really achieved utopia or if they merely present themselves as one. The classic series during the Gene L. Coon episodes (Season 1, first half of Season 2) routinely criticizes Starfleet and the Federation. "Errand of Mercy" presents Kirk and Starfleet as warmongers gunning for conflict with Klingons. "Arena" showed the Federation (accidentally) encroaching on another species' territory and thought of as invaders. "Amok Time" has Starfleet wanting the Enterprise to put on a show of force for a recently brokered truce between two warring worlds.

There's the especially troubling episode, "A Taste of Armageddon," in which Starfleet is established to have General Order 24 where a starship captain can order that the population of an entire planet be extinguished if given sufficient cause.

Throughout the show, Kirk is routinely shown to be more humane and moral than the organization that employs him and the Federation is shown to be humanitarian in posture and PR, but no less imperialist as than the Klingons.

However, after Coon left the series in the middle of Season 2, latter writers took a more simplistic route, presenting Starfleet as interplanetary do-gooders and anyone against the Federation is simply evil. TNG took this latter approach. DS9 took the view that while within the Federation, it's easy to be a saint, it's not so easy in the Gamma Quadrant or on Bajor or for the Maquis and then had Section 31 bring back the original skepticism of the old show.

"Errand of Mercy" is a standout in its skepticism: Kirk meets what he perceives to be an underdeveloped world and offers them the Federation's help in turning their world into a paradise, to show them how to feed millions where they once fed hundreds, to give them scientific and engineering knowledge that will allow them to remake their planet, to educate every child and give health and knowledge to every inhabitant. But the script underscores how the offer is made because the Federation wants this world as a key strategic point against the Klingons, and Kirk is shown to be, in many ways, just as flawed as his enemies in this episode.

And yet, ENTERPRISE took the view that the Federation is benign, particularly with the Andorian/Tellarite three-parter in which both races set aside their differences thanks to Captain Archer's diplomacy and respect for both cultures. It's one of those cases where latter writers adopted the original writers' words but may have missed the meaning behind them. There's also, of course, the fact that the individual writers within STAR TREK's 60s run weren't on the same page either.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Watched the third episode.  If this is where the show is going, it's definitely intriguing.  Although it got me thinking...it's very bizarre that there are two Treks going on at the same time: Discovery and Fox's The Orville.  What's even more bizarre is that the Orville, while seen through a Seth MacFarlane lens, is *light years* more Trek-like than Discovery is (in both structure and the fact that one is on conventional television and the other online-only).  It's not a knock on either show, but it's very strange. 

The Orville, while not taking place in the Trek universe, is a mostly-unserialized show set on a starship that is seeking out new life and new civilizations.  It's crude and is full of pop culture references that these people probably shouldn't be spouting, but it takes itself way more seriously than I assumed it was going to based on the promos I saw.  What I assumed was going to be Galaxy Quest ended up being a bit more like an updated TNG.  They've already gone for a couple of "moral high ground" episodes early, and there's a lot more awe in it than I was expecting.  I don't know if I love it, but I feel like it's in the same vein as a Trek series.

Discovery, however, *is* set in the Trek universe, but it's so much different than what we're used to expecting.  It's refreshing to have something new in the same universe, but it also feels very alien. 

I do wonder if some Trekkies are going to go the easy route and watch the (free) Trek-lite that MacFarlane is offering.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Long time Trekkie (prefer the term Trekker though) here and I will not be watching Discovery.  Not only because it is not free, but it is also just too dark for my taste.  It was hard for me to accept that the universe they showed me is the same one Kirk, Spock, Picard, etc... will live in.  Sorry, but listening to the Klingons talk was simply irritating.

The Orville, on the other hand, I am finding very intriguing.  There is much more substance to the stories than I was expecting and it did not take long to connect with some of the characters.  I thought they would simply lampoon ST and it would be come off really silly, but the humor does not overwhelm the show.  They get quite serious at times and have tackled some pretty interesting topics so far.

I really feel that Seth MacFarland is genuinely trying to make a long lasting quality ST tribute show with Trekkies in mind.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

hallge73 wrote:

I really feel that Seth MacFarland is genuinely trying to make a long lasting quality ST tribute show with Trekkies in mind.

I'm assuming MacFarlane was never able to pitch to CBS because of his association/longterm relationship with Fox, but I wonder if he ever thought about it.  He probably wouldn't have been able to do as much humor as he's doing, but he's made it seem like this was a passion project for as long as he can remember.  If that's the case, it probably would've been a dream to put on an actual Starfleet uniform.

And pairing Discovery with something like Star Trek: Orville might've been enough to bring more people to CBS All Access.  One of the problems (mentioned here too) is that, for Trekkies, they're really only paying for one show.  If CBS had made two Star Trek shows (one dark and new, one more traditional) and a handful of other genre shows, it could've been something a lot of people would pay for and stick with.

Now CBS doesn't really care about that.  And they're doubling down on their idea by splitting their season up in two pieces.  So instead of the people who buy HBO for 3 months a year for Game of Thrones and then cancel, you're going to have to either pay for a November/December without Discovery or cancel and then re-upp a couple months later.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Caught up on Discovery, and the more I watch, the more I think the series just seems a little confused on its identity.  There will be a hint of Star Trek; and then a hint of Battlestar Galactica; and then a hint of Farscape.  I don't know.  I am enjoying it, but it's just not Trek to me.

That said, if this is set 10 years before Kirk, I don't see how the unique technology of Discovery can co-exist with the rest of Trek.  I suppose they could try to claim it's a highly classified thing that survives as part of Section 13, but it would be easier to have Discovery lost taking its secrets with it.  I'm getting a Rogue One vibe which brings us to yet another possible facet of the identity crisis with this series.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Even if everyone on the ship is killed, are we supposed to believe that no one else in the galaxy had the idea ever again?  Even if it's immoral, we've seen desperate species or ships use immoral technology for their own advancement (the USS Equinox, for example).

This is a little like the "across the galaxy warp" thing that Star Trek (09) invented.  It's a technology that seems relatively safe, is an absolute game-changer, and something that no one ever uses again centuries later.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

***Spoilers for Sunday's episode***

TemporalFlux wrote:

That said, if this is set 10 years before Kirk, I don't see how the unique technology of Discovery can co-exist with the rest of Trek.  I suppose they could try to claim it's a highly classified thing that survives as part of Section 13, but it would be easier to have Discovery lost taking its secrets with it.

The most recent episode doesn't seem to imply this.  It sounds like the Discovery isn't really an off-the-books project - it's a key part of Starfleet's war effort.  And while it's beginning to become apparent why Starfleet might not use this technology in the future (it seems to do irreparable harm to the "navigator"), I'm still unsure of why this would scare away other, more immoral species.  The Borg, for example, wouldn't have any issue with using it.

I wonder if the endgame is that the spore network itself is somehow destroyed so that no one can use it in the future.  Even then, you'd think there'd be a permanent Starfleet research department trying to figure out how to reactivate it.  Just like I assume, if the network isn't destroyed, that Starfleet would work tirelessly to researching Stamets' "AI Ripper"

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I think Slider_Quinn21's probably right about the end of the spore network.

**

The DISCOVERY novel "Desperate Hours" explains that the holographic communications seen on the Shenzhou were older technology that the newer Constitution-class ships, like the Enterprise, didn't incorporate because holograms were bandwidth hogs and had, over time, become insecure and easily hacked and hijacked.

That said -- the truth is that no STAR TREK series can ever be fully reconciled with its sibling productions. STAR TREK was filmed in the 60s; even the 80s-era MOTION PICTURE is near-impossible to reconcile on a technological level with the TV show from which it came. The perfect humans of TNG are not the flawed heroes of DS9; the goofy Zefram Cochrane of FIRST CONTACT is not the troubled relic of the 60s "Metamorphosis" and even within the individual shows, they're not consistent. That's just the nature of ongoing continuity and TV production.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Yeah, but I like that people make so much effort to make the shows click.  I watched a video on YouTube recently that speculated why Starfleet switches uniforms so often.  The idea was that it's a directive from timeships in the future.

The thought behind it is that it's essential that timeships / time agents blend in spotlessly to whatever time period they're in.  And if an agent was accidentally displaced in an unfamiliar time period, the uniforms would be an immediate visual shortcut to a 5-10 year era that the agent had appeared in.  That way, they could more-easily blend in.

I don't know if I buy it, but it's a fun theory.  And maybe one day, like the Klingon Augment Virus, someone will like the theory enough that it'll become canon.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

To quote TREK novelist Christopher Bennett:

Fans have always had to squint and gloss over the differences of interpretation in order to pretend that these works of fiction created by different people with different ideas could represent a consistent reality. If you want to be that obsessively nitpicky, then you'll have to admit that 'Where No Man Has Gone Before' is set in an alternate universe where Kirk has a different middle name, 'Mudd's Women' is set an alternate universe where they use lithium instead of dilithium, most of TNG's first season is set in an alternate universe where Data used contractions and showed emotion, etc.

STAR TREK has never, ever, EVER been an actually consistent reality. We only choose to pretend it is by ignoring or rationalizing the hundreds and hundreds of contradictions it already contains. So either you're willing to suspend disbelief and play along with the pretense that there's a single universe, or you're not and you have to admit that there are countless mutually contradictory versions of Trek already.

To claim that previous TREK is completely reconcilable but the newest thing is completely irreconcilable is a self-contradiction.

Roddenberry's take: TOS was an imperfect dramatization of the crew's adventures and that later TREK productions were able to come closer to getting it right. It wasn't the TREK universe that was changing, just the way in which it was dramatically recreated for 20th-century television viewers.

Some of my favourite inconsistencies:

The original series took almost half a season to pin down the 23rd century era, with the time period referred to as the 21st or 28th century. Kirk at one point says he works for the United Earth Space Probe Agency before it became Starfleet and Earth became the Federation. Spock is emotional in the early episodes and made a rape joke. Kirk's initial in the first episode produced is "R." Spock refers to his parents in the past tense, but they guest-star later on. McCoy says that the "Vulcanians" were conquered by Earth.

From a production standpoint, the Starfleet arrowhead was meant to be for all starship crews, but for a number of TOS episodes, costumers misunderstood "Charlie X" in which the crew of the Antares had their own insignia (as merchant marines) and took that to mean each ship had its own individual badge when designing costumes. DISCOVERY uses the triangular symbol as intended rather than as it was onscreen.

With TNG's early seasons, Picard was a cruel leader prone to putting his people in difficult situations just to screw with them, Data was emotional, Troi experienced other people's emotions rather than being aware of them, Worf was animalistically feral, Starfleet regularly vacationed on pre-warp planets, holodeck matter existed outside the simulator, the Borg ignored organic life -- none of which was retained as Picard became gentle to the point of babying Barclay, Data became emotionless, Troi's powers dialed down, Worf became smart, the Prime Directive became much stricter and the Borg started assimilating people.

The mannered and bizarre Ferengi of TNG's Season 1 are not the capitalist caricatures of DS9, the makeup for Trills in TNG was ignored in DS9, Voyager travelled back to the 1990s where the Eugenics Wars, established in TOS, are not present or mentioned.

FIRST CONTACT and ENTERPRISE have warp drive in the 22nd century, but TOS' "Balance of Terror" established that the Earth-Romulan War unfolded at sublight speeds. TNG had Wesley depart Starfleet to ascend to higher planes of existence with the Traveler; DS9 had Worf become a Klingon ambassador by the finale "Nemesis" has him -- yet NEMESIS shows both back in Starfleet.

In "Operation: Annihilate!," Kirk's brother, Sam, is killed. Yet, in STAR TREK V, Kirk remarks, "I once lost a brother. I was lucky to get him back," referring to Spock and suggesting that Kirk has forgotten he had a sibling who died with his wife and left behind an orphaned nephew.

STAR TREK has never been a documentary. But if you must have an in-universe blanket explanation, the simplest route is that Data's trip to 19th century Earth in "Time's Arrow" and the time travel of FIRST CONTACT along with the Temporal Cold War of ENTERPRISE have caused some details of TOS to shift and some of the contradictions are due to the time travel ripples taking effect.

The novels and comic books, however, tend to offer rationalizations via new stories that weren't aired on TV or shown in theatres. The comic book adaptation for STAR TREK V amended Kirk's line about his brother to say that Kirk lost "two brothers" and was lucky to get "one back." My personal explanation for the error: Sam Kirk was probably, in an untelevised story, resurrected due to some VOYAGER-esque time travel rewind that retroactively erased his death.

And maybe there are many variants of Ferengi and Trills, we were seeing Picard during periods of indigestion during Season 1, Troi mastered her psi-powers, Data was experimenting with simulated emotion, the Earth-Romulan War unfolded in areas of space where warp drive couldn't be used, Worf got counselling, etc..

There's some stuff that's best ignored, however. It's grossly out of character for Spock as he took shape to joke that a woman who was sexually assaulted by an evil double of Captain Kirk enjoyed the experience. It is outrageous to claim, as TOS did, that no woman has ever captained a starship.

I prefer to simply think that these events didn't happen, much like Quinn shrugging off Wade being in a rape camp or spending a season finding coordinates to Kromagg Prime and a way to bypass the Slidecage only to blow both off in "Revelations."

And I don't think we need to restrict STAR TREK to technology that was feasible to render on TV in the 1960s; the show should reflect a future based on the world we have today. And on the level of TV production, there is really insufficient time to worry about it at all.

In a podcast, "Desperate Hours" author David Mack said that he read the TV scripts, passed along any contradictions he didn't think could be reconciled and some were amended and some weren't. He added that he offered the TV producers three paths for "Desperate Hours": he could describe the 60s Enterprise as being visually in line with 2017 DISCOVERY ships with holograms and jacketed uniforms and metallic surfaces. He could describe the 2017 DISCOVERY ships as being visually in line with the 60s STAR TREK with switches and dials and pastel colours.

Or he could describe both the 60s and 2017 ships exactly as they appeared onscreen -- and declare with a straight face that the 60s ships are in fact more advanced than the 2017 ships and have the characters consider the 60s style to be more futuristic than the DISCOVERY ships.

They asked him to take the third option. That said, a lot of this could be side-stepped if DISCOVERY were set in the 25th century and DISCOVERY has, for now, given no real reason why it's set in the 23rd aside from Michael Burnham being Sarek's adopted daughter.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

ireactions wrote:

That said, a lot of this could be side-stepped if DISCOVERY were set in the 25th century and DISCOVERY has, for now, given no real reason why it's set in the 23rd aside from Michael Burnham being Sarek's adopted daughter.

And now an appearance from Harry Mudd.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Discovery continues to be a really interesting and gripping show.  Michael Burnham and Gabriel Lorca are two of the more compelling characters in Star Trek history, and I'm genuinely intrigued on where certain plotlines are going to go.

However, some of the creative decisions are just distracting to me.  I don't know a ton about Sarek, but making Sarek (a character that has been a vital part of Trek since its inception) so "emotionally" connected to someone we've never heard of until now seems...disrespectful to me.  Maybe it isn't, but it's definitely odd to me.

I know we've beaten the whole "era they chose" thing to death, but it's just distracting when I try and think about the show in any sort of context.  They wanted to do the TOS era, but they also don't seem attached to *anything* related to the era.  They changed the uniforms, they changed the Klingons, and they changed just about everything about the technology.

In fact, if they simply changed the "Klingons" to "Quinnians", Sarek to any other high-ranking Klingon, Harry Mudd to any other con artist, and any other dialogue to reference the 25th century instead of the 23rd, the show works just fine. 

The whole thing is just bizarre to me.  The recent movies were prequels because they seemed to have a reverence for the TOS era and wanted to replicate everything about the aesthetic that they could.  Discovery seems to want to do entirely their own thing and just have an attachment to certain characters (Sarek, Harry Mudd, etc) that they wanted to include.

Again, I love the show.  All the side stuff is just distracting me, and it's only distracting me when the show is over and I have time to digest.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I haven't seen this week's episode yet. So this is just rambling about continuity:

Most fans, I find, think of STAR TREK continuity the way they see the continuity of a cop drama or a teen soap. ELEMENTARY, DAWSON'S CREEK, EVERWOOD and such. But because of the huge timespan of STAR TREK, I think it's probably better to see it like the Marvel Universe where all events are in a broad continuity subject to the interpretation of the individual author and re-interpreted in terms of the present day. Both STAR TREK and the Marvel Universe function as representations of present day concerns and anxieties, after all.

The most interesting Marvel characters, to me, from a continuity standpoint are Iron Man and Captain America. Iron Man's origin story is continually updated in flashbacks: the Vietnam era incident that caused Tony Stark's heart to be lodged with shrapnel and necessitate an Iron Man suit has been continually updated to the Gulf War, to Afghanistan -- and the surroundings and soldiers and technology are also altered with each new version. It's a floating timeline and it's necessary to move Tony Stark into the present so that Iron Man's technology can represent the future.

Captain America also has an interesting continuity oddity: the year in which he reawakened from decades-long cryogenic suspension moves forward. He originally defrosted in the 60s; today, it's the 2000s. With each year, Cap emerges into a world farther and farther from World War II. Naturally, the stories in which he engaged with current events -- Nixon, the War on Drugs, Bill Clinton being at his funeral, the inauguration of George W. Bush and 9/11 -- have to quietly fade away from reference. A hilarious continuity issue: Cap's long-time girlfriend, Sharon, was written to be the younger sister of his WWII girlfriend, Peggy. As WWII grows distant, Sharon has been altered into Peggy's grand-niece. I think, at some point, Sharon will become Peggy's great-grand niece.

I think STAR TREK has to be treated the same way -- a floating timeline perpetually drifting ahead of our present rather than a locked, strictly defined set of stories.

**

When writing SLIDERS REBORN, I had the opportunity to explain a lot of the show's peculiar continuity: the Season 1 episodes being aired in the wrong order, the Season 2 guest-stars who vanished between episodes, Season 3 monsters, the Season 4 backstory, the Season 5 production being isolated to backlots.

I was using the idea that there were two timelines in SLIDERS: an original timeline in which the original sliders had four years of wonderful adventures, and a corrupted timeline created by Dr. Geiger's Combine experiment that ripped all Quinns out of all realities and created a warped, damaged timeline that aired on TV. This blanket explanation served as a catch-all rationale for every continuity error and the Season 3 monsters and I singled out each one in the explanation.

But there was one continuity oddity I decided to leave alone -- Quinn Mallory's childhood.

The SLIDERS pilot shows Jerry O'Connell in a photograph with his father, Michael. "The Guardian," however, shows Quinn as a 10-year-old mourning the death of his father. The Pilot puts Michael's death in Quinn's teens and it's not a source of trauma as Quinn and Amanda joke about Amanda conversing with Michael's photograph. "The Guardian" declares that the death of Quinn's father at a young age caused Quinn to become socially isolated and racked with guilt over how his final words to his dad were spoken in anger.

I think you could conceivably find a way to rationalize the continuity here. You could say that Quinn has, over time, found ways to obscure his grief. You could say that Quinn had a growth spurt on his home Earth that his "Guardian" double would experience later in life. You could say that Jerry isn't playing Quinn in the photograph; he is playing one of Quinn's cousins and Quinn keeps the photo as an indication of how it might have looked had his father lived longer.

But the rationalizations obscure the purpose of the "Guardian" retcon -- which was to find some way to explore the strange contradiction in Quinn Mallory being an awkward, socially isolated nerd played by the athletic, attractive and charismatic Jerry O'Connell.

Tracy Torme, who wrote both episodes, clearly made the decision to revise the Pilot backstory for Quinn. I think: he didn't expect Quinn to be as attractive as Jerry made him and he wanted to reconcile the discrepancy between character and actor. His solution was to repurpose the death of Quinn's father from being one point of Quinn's backstory to a life-defining trauma that left Quinn fundamentally broken.

And as someone who was moving SLIDERS continuity around to get everything in order, this is something I decided I wouldn't touch because the retcon was part of Tracy Torme getting to grips with Quinn Mallory. It was part of the process of merging what was intended and what was onscreen into a unified whole, and if I tugged at the improvised and spontaneously formed threads that make Quinn who he is, I would unravel him.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

ireactions wrote:

I think STAR TREK has to be treated the same way -- a floating timeline perpetually drifting ahead of our present rather than a locked, strictly defined set of stories.

I 100% agree, but I think Trek also has a perfect out in the sense that the timeline is expandable.  It's our timeline but stretched out.  The 23rd century that Kirk lived in is the 60s.  It has "advanced" technology and apparel and ideas that represent the 60s.  The TNG era represents the 80s-90s.

As the shows move forward, technology moves forward.  Time moves forward.

Discovery could've taken the next leap.  Move forward 100-200 years.  Now they have even better technology.  Their ideals now match our own.

Like Marvel, instead of worrying about making the past make sense, they just shift it to the present.  Trek wants to try and make TOS make sense in a modern context, but it's never going to work.  The Eugenics Wars and World War III might've pushed humanity back, but the technology onboard the technology is just laughably behind the Enterprise herself.  Data, once boasted, that his processor worked at a speed that would be considered unacceptably slow by today's standards.

In my opinion, Trek shouldn't go back.  It should always be moving forward.  Maybe the everyday viewer would be unable to connect with the year 2500, but I doubt it.

But, yeah, in the heat of the moment while I'm watching, I just accept that it's the 23rd century.  The show is good enough where I'm not that worried about it at the time.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

ireactions wrote:

I think STAR TREK has to be treated the same way -- a floating timeline perpetually drifting ahead of our present rather than a locked, strictly defined set of stories.

It really doesn't. They could continue the story further in the future and not have to deal with obvious continuity gaffes. They could choose to progress the story and strive to move past the familiar. But they chose not to, instead picking a time where familiar names can be referenced and onscreen Okudagrams can slyly wink at the audience and let them know how clever they are for knowing what planet that is.

ireactions wrote:

The Pilot puts Michael's death in Quinn's teens and it's not a source of trauma as Quinn and Amanda joke about Amanda conversing with Michael's photograph. "The Guardian" declares that the death of Quinn's father at a young age caused Quinn to become socially isolated and racked with guilt over how his final words to his dad were spoken in anger.

The pilot takes place a full decade after the death of Mike Mallory. I would hope Quinn and his mom would have had the distance to look bad at him and have fond, almost goofy memories of the times they had together. It means they moved on with life and healed.

Now, let's keep talking about this 50 year old franchise and 22 year old show!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

But then why is Quinn played by Jerry in the family photo if the Pilot meant for Quinn to be 10 when his father died?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I get the sense that the prequel-to-TOS situation is an awkward artifact of the creative troubles behind the series.

Bryan Fuller pitched DISCOVERY as an anthology show with each season to be set in a different time period. As it was an anthology, it makes sense that Fuller wanted the first season to be set close to the most iconic, culturally defining era of the franchise by making it 10 years before the original series. Later seasons would move forward.

The original intention was to render the 60s era STAR TREK with modern materials and technology the way the rebootquel movies have done it. The uniforms were to resemble those in "The Cage." Fuller posted photos of gold, scarlet and blue turtlenecks on Twitter.

But Fuller left, the people who took over have stuck with Fuller's plot and time period but are executing it with their own production aesthetic instead and they changed the uniforms to look more like ENTERPRISE.

The new producers have decided to render the 23rd century as they see fit and then sort out the discrepancies later. The current producers have said in interviews that the contradictions will be explained. http://www.cbr.com/star-trek-discovery- … y-changes/ It does leave me wondering why they would create supposed errors in the first place.

Anyway. I'll finish Season 1 before I give an opinion. I don't think there's anything wrong with one season as a TOS-prequel, but doing an entire show like this astounds me for all the reasons Slider_Quinn21 expresses.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

ireactions wrote:

But then why is Quinn played by Jerry in the family photo if the Pilot meant for Quinn to be 10 when his father died?

Because Phillip Van Dyke got drunk before he was supposed be on set and couldn't remember his lines, so JOC stood in!

Earth Prime | The Definitive Source for Sliders™

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

ireactions wrote:

I get the sense that the prequel-to-TOS situation is an awkward artifact of the creative troubles behind the series.

Bryan Fuller pitched DISCOVERY as an anthology show with each season to be set in a different time period. As it was an anthology, it makes sense that Fuller wanted the first season to be set close to the most iconic, culturally defining era of the franchise by making it 10 years before the original series. Later seasons would move forward.

The original intention was to render the 60s era STAR TREK with modern materials and technology the way the rebootquel movies have done it. The uniforms were to resemble those in "The Cage." Fuller posted photos of gold, scarlet and blue turtlenecks on Twitter.

But Fuller left, the people who took over have stuck with Fuller's plot and time period but are executing it with their own production aesthetic instead and they changed the uniforms to look more like ENTERPRISE.

The new producers have decided to render the 23rd century as they see fit and then sort out the discrepancies later. The current producers have said in interviews that the contradictions will be explained. http://www.cbr.com/star-trek-discovery- … y-changes/ It does leave me wondering why they would create supposed errors in the first place.

Anyway. I'll finish Season 1 before I give an opinion. I don't think there's anything wrong with one season as a TOS-prequel, but doing an entire show like this astounds me for all the reasons Slider_Quinn21 expresses.

I agree with all of that.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

You mean you agreed with me agreeing with you?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Well, and all the extra stuff.  I went online after you mentioned the Fuller stuff and did my own research, and I agree with what you're saying regarding the new producers.  I think Fuller left them a skeleton that they used (timeline, Sarek, etc) and he filled in the gaps.

Now questions I have...

1. I read some rumors from Fuller's time that Burnham might've been Number One from the Cage.  I wonder if that was ever considered.

2. I couldn't find his art for the uniforms on his Twitter.  Were they deleted?

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

This was the photo.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CrY99ojUMAAGJZe.jpg

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I think that would've been pretty cool.

I feel like Fuller has a great fondness for Star Trek and perhaps TOS, but he's shown the ability to take something he loves and make it his own.  The Discovery writers seem very interested in doing something decidedly not-Trek, and they simply used some of Fuller's notes to make the show they want to make.

It's what's made Discovery the fantastic show that it is and the headache it is to analyze within the boundaries of Trek itself.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I haven't been watching Discovery simply because I have so many streaming services as is and it is difficult to keep going with them, not to mention adding new ones! Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime (not to mention Google Play for music and as free YouTube, as well as my desire to get  Brit box for Classic Who and Broadway Tonight for my love of musicals). I think I may subscribe after the season is done and then pay for it for a month and see if I can just binge it, if they are offering the whole season still by then (or maybe they'll do a Hulu, and only offer the latest episodes instead?).

I saw a YouTube video discussing Discovery and it was intriguing. To explain the advanced tech and uniforms and such, they theorized that Discovery is actually the origin story of Section 31. Gotta admit, that fan theory gave me pause and makes me interested if that is the case because of course, S31 would have access to advanced tech and such.

I'm not really into the darker aspect of the series, and is a reason why I never got much into DS9 which always felt so much darker and brooding than TNG. But Section 31 was always a neat concept to me, and the darkness of it didn't bother me, so if this is THAT story, I'll be coming aboard at some point I think.

Ireactions, I like that comment you mentioned of Seth McFarlane's and how all the Trek officers were just perfect all the time. The Orville definitely represents his view of a realistic Trekverse.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

The most recent episode of Discovery was tons of fun.  I actually don't know if I remember anything of Mudd from TOS.  I might have to go back and watch those because he's a blast on Discovery.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Always good to see tom2point0 here, he doesn't show up often enough. I have been listening to REWATCH PODCAST cover THE FLASH (90s series) with pleasure, but I didn't have time to watch the actual show, so I can say nothing other than noting that I continue to enjoy Tom and Cory's banter during my commutes and hikes.

DISCOVERY, however, most definitely does not present the secret origin of Section 31. Their name, Section 31, comes from the original 22nd century Starfleet charter: Article 13, Section 31 allows extraordinary measures against extreme threat. Starfleet and Section 31 pre-date the Federation and DISCOVERY.

Section 31 appeared on ENTERPRISE in the year 2155 as a secret cabal within the United Earth government and Starfleet with Enterprise-armsmaster Malcolm Reed a former member. Given that DISCOVERY takes place in 2256, it's clearly not Section 31's starting point. But this does give me an excuse to talk about Section 31.

The reason the DS9 creators came up with Section 31: they were telling war stories and needed to show that the Federation, like any government, would engage in bloody and covert black-ops missions. But Gene Roddenberry's TNG-era declaration that the future was a perfect world had become so entrenched in the franchise that the writers couldn't overturn it. So they introduced Section 31.

From their debut in "Inquisition":

                    BASHIR
            So, are you going to tell me who
            you are? Who you work for?

                    SLOAN
            I would think it's obvious -- the
            same people you work for. The
            Federation. Starfleet.

                    BASHIR
            You don't expect me to believe
            you're with Internal Affairs, do
            you?

                    SLOAN
            Of course not. Internal Affairs
            is a competent department, but...
            limited.

                    BASHIR
            Then what department are you with?

                    SLOAN
            Let's just say I belong to another
            branch of Starfleet
            Intelligence... our official
            designation is Section 31.

                    BASHIR
            Never heard of it.

                    SLOAN
            We keep a low profile. It works
            out better that way... for all
            concerned.

                    BASHIR
            And what does "Section 31"
            do -- aside from kidnapping
            Starfleet officers?

                    SLOAN
            We search out and identify
            potential dangers to the
            Federation.

                    BASHIR
            And once identified?

                    SLOAN
            We deal with them.

                    BASHIR
            How?

                    SLOAN
            Quietly.

                    BASHIR
            So if I had turned out to be a
            Dominion agent -- what would've
            happened to me?

                    SLOAN
            We wouldn't be standing here
            having this conversation.

                    BASHIR
            And Starfleet sanctions what
            you're doing?

                    SLOAN
            We don't submit reports or ask for
            approval for specific operations,
            if that's what you mean. We're an
            autonomous department.

                    BASHIR
            Authorized by whom?

                    SLOAN
            Section 31 was part of the
            original Starfleet charter.

                    BASHIR
            That was two hundred years ago.
            Are you telling me you've been
            operating on your own ever since?
            Without specific orders?
            Accountable to nobody, but
            yourselves?

                    SLOAN
            You make it sound so... ominous.

                    BASHIR
            Isn't it? If what you say is
            true, you function as judge, jury
            and executioner. I'd say that's
            too much power for anyone.

                    SLOAN
            I admit it takes exceptional
            people to do what we do -- people
            who can sublimate their own
            ambitions to the best interests of
            the Federation.
                (a beat)
            People like you.

                    BASHIR
            Me?

                    SLOAN
                (nods)
            We're on the same team. We
            believe in the same principles
            that every other Federation
            citizen holds dear.

                    BASHIR
            But you violate those principles
            as a matter of course.

                    SLOAN
            In order to protect them.

                    BASHIR
            I'm sorry. But the ends don't
            always justify the means.

                    SLOAN
                (calmly)
            Really? How many lives do you
            suppose you've saved in your
            medical career?

                    BASHIR
            I don't see what that has to do
            with anything.

                    SLOAN
            Hundreds... thousands? Do you
            suppose that those people give a
            damn that you lied to get into
            Starfleet Medical? I doubt it.

    Bashir is momentarily thrown by Sloan's argument --

                    SLOAN
            We deal with threats to the
            Federation that jeopardize its
            very survival. If you knew how
            many lives we've saved, I think
            you'd agree that the ends do
            justify the means.I'm not afraid
            of bending the rules every once
            in a while -- if the situation warrants
            it. And I don't think you are either.

                    BASHIR
            You've got the wrong man, Sloan.

                    SLOAN
                (confident)
            I don't think so. In time, you'll
            come to agree with me.

With Section 31, DS9 could show the Federation engaging in assassination, fraud, genocide, false flag operations, propaganda, facism, torture, psychological manipulation, violation of civil liberties and sheer ruthlessness -- but because Section 31 was a disavowed branch of Starfleet with no official sanction or existence, the writers left themselves an out. They could say the Federation's hands were clean by putting all the responsibility on Section 31. As seen in "Inquisition":

                    SISKO
            There's no record of a Deputy
            Director Sloan anywhere in
            Starfleet. As for Section 31...
            that's a little more complicated.
            Starfleet Command didn't
            acknowledge its existence. But
            they didn't deny it either.
            They simply said they'd look into
            it and get back to me.

                    BASHIR
            When?

                    SISKO
            They didn't say.

                    KIRA
            Sounds like a cover-up to me.

                    BASHIR
            Is it possible that the Federation
            would condone this kind of
            activity?

                    ODO
            Personally, I find it hard to
            believe that they wouldn't. Every
            other great power has a unit like
            Section 31... the Romulans
            have the Tal Shiar, the
            Cardassians had the Obsidian
            Order...

                    BASHIR
            But what would that say about us?
            That we're no different than our
            enemies? That when push comes to
            shove, we're willing to throw away
            our principles in order to
            survive?

                    SISKO
            I wish I had an answer for you,
            Doctor.

Perhaps the greatest Section 31 story (there were only three) is "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" where Section 31 manipulates Dr. Bashir into staging an assassination and framing an ambassador to maneuver a more controllable ally onto the political chessboard.

Dr. Bashir figures out the plan and needs Admiral Ross to stop it. Admiral Ross has always been an ally: he's allowed our heroes to skirt rules; he's tacitly encouraged the cast's crazier ideas; he's been the most pleasant and supportive admiral ever seen in STAR TREK.

Ross is Professor Arturo. Ross is Dr. Harry Wells. Ross is Dr. Martin Stein. Ross is Temporal Flux. Ross is Dad. Ross is suddenly debilitated by an illness and unable to help, and Section 31 wins. Later, Bashir confronts Ross, having realized: Ross faked his illness to allow Section 31 to proceed with its plans.

                    BASHIR
            And how long have you worked for
            Section 31?

                    ROSS
            I don't.

                    BASHIR
            Just a temporary alliance?

                    ROSS
            Something like that.

                    BASHIR
            And you don't see anything wrong
            with what happened?

                    ROSS
            I don't like it. But I've spent
            the last year and a half of my
            life ordering young men and women
            to die. I like that even less.

                    BASHIR
            That's a glib answer. And it's a
            cheap way of avoiding the fact
            that you've trampled on the very
            thing those men and women are out
            there dying to protect. Doesn't
            that mean anything to you?

                    ROSS
            Inter arma enim silent leges.

                    BASHIR
            "In time of war, the law falls
            silent." Cicero. So is that
            what we've become -- a twenty-
            fourth century Rome? Driven by
            nothing more than the certainty
            that Caesar can do no wrong?

                    ROSS
            This conversation never happened.
            You're dismissed.

Ross didn't kill anyone, didn't frame anyone; he simply chose to do nothing to prevent it and is therefore complicit. That's what makes 31 terrifying.

Despite the writers having left themselves a backdoor to say Section 31 is a rogue agency, it would be reasonable to take the view that Section 31 is the Federation and always has been.

Captain Lorca represents their values rather well. I think Lorca is one of them although there's the possibility that he doesn't know he's one of them. Section 31 has often maneuvered unwitting Starfleet officers into acting on their behalf.

Anyway. DS9's first two Section 31 episodes were great and can be read here:
http://www.st-minutiae.com/resources/scripts/542.txt
http://scifijaz.com/t/565.txt

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

One of DS9's few missteps was the end of the Section 31 mini-arc.  I thought "Extreme Measures" didn't live up to the first two episodes.  "Inquisition" and "IAESL" are two of the best episodes in Trek History.  The final episode...is fine.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I'd forgotten that Ronald Moore worked on Voyager, briefly.  I wonder if he could've made something out of the final two seasons of Voyager.  Barge of the Dead is one of the more unique episodes in Voyager's history.  I wonder if more like that would've been made.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Barge of the Dead was originally conceived for TNG, as a Worf story

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Brian Fuller has left American Gods.  Dude has trouble keeping a showrunner job for too long.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Meanwhile Tarantino said to be working on a Star Trek film.  Wow.

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Finished watching the first half of Discovery, and it feels more like Trek now.  For me it started in earnest with the Harry Mudd episode where he’s trying to take over the Discovery.  All told, that’s a faster turn around than the other modern Trek series; it took each of them a good two years to settle in.