Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

ireactions wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

I've seen five episodes so far...

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

Every single decision here was wrong.

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was fun seeing Clint Howard show up though. smile

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV … x-kurtzman

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

TemporalFlux wrote:

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV … s-with-cbs

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

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

Re: Star Trek in Film and TV

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

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

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

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

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

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